Hannah Day leads the way for Troy softball

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

Senior right fielder Hannah Day and the Troy softball team won a record-setting sweep on the road against Appalachian State this weekend.

Day led the Trojans (21-7, 4-2 Sun Belt) offensively over the weekend, tying an NCAA record in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader with 16 total bases, tying a school record with three home runs, and setting a new school record with nine RBIs. For her offensive effort, she was named USA Softball’s National Player of the Week.

In the first game of the series, an 11-2 win on Friday, March 18, Day hit a three-run homer to put her team on the board in the first inning. Those runs were the first of eight unanswered points from Troy before the Mountaineers (6-23, 1-5 Sun Belt) could get on the board in the fourth inning.

Troy needed only three more runs to mercy-rule the hosting Mountaineers in the fifth inning, and it got them via a solo homer from senior catcher Heather Johnston and an RBI single from sophomore designated hitter Erica Davis. Davis scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.

The nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader saw the Trojans continue to heat up at the plate, completely dominating whatever the Mountaineer pitchers threw their way. The final score was 23-6.

Once again, Day got the Trojans started with an RBI double, which set up an RBI triple for senior first baseman Ashley Rainey. In the bottom of the first, Appalachian State recorded four runs, due in large part to a three-run homer from junior second baseman Cara Parker.

In the second inning, the teams swapped results from the first: the Trojans posted four runs, and the Mountaineers plated two. Day and junior shortstop Becca Hartley both hit home runs to bring in three, and Rainey brought in a fourth run with an RBI single up the left side.

With the score at six each, the Trojans lit up the scoreboard in the third inning, bringing in 11 runs. Day continued her impressive outing and hit a two-run homer and a grand slam in the inning, contributing two of the Trojans’ seven home runs in the game.

Six more runs in the fifth inning added to Troy’s score, as it cruised to another mercy-rule victory.

The third and final game of the series on Saturday, March 19, was just as high-scoring for Troy, but this time Appalachian State found nearly equal success in its 25-19 loss to the Trojans.

Sophomore center fielder Carli Kayler led the way offensively in another record-setting game for the Trojans, as she broke the NCAA total bases record that Day tied the previous day. Kayler went 5-for-6 from the plate, on her way to recording 17 bases and an NCAA single-game-tying record four home runs.

Her four home runs also broke the Troy and Sun Belt single-game records.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Mountaineers cut Troy’s 16-8 lead to just one run. Appalachian State hit a pair of home runs equaling four points, an error allowing another run to score, and a two-run RBI single from sophomore third baseman Tiffany Taynor.

Troy responded to the comeback with a flurry of runs, plating seven runs in the final inning. Kayler hit a pair of two-run homers and Day tallied another RBI to help widen the gap between the two sides.

Appalachian State added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Trojans, who won 25-19.

Troy returns to the field on Friday, March 25, when it takes on UL-Lafayette at home for a three-game series. First pitch for game one is at 3 p.m.

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