The Troy softball team returned to its home field in order to face the Georgia State Panthers, playing a doubleheader on Saturday, March 29 and finishing up the series on Sunday, March 30.
In game one on Saturday, the Trojans were slow to start, going without a score for the first six innings, and allowing the Panthers to take a 6-0 lead.
However, when all hope seemed lost, Troy showed up to the game with an amazing rally, which hinged largely on a home run hit by sophomore first baseman Amanda Winters. She brought in senior outfielder Ebony Wright who singled on an error by the first baseman and junior outfielder Erica Davis who advanced to first on a walk.
Keeping the momentum set by Winters, junior second baseman Michelle Phelps came to the plate and hit another ball skyrocketing into a home run, bringing the Trojans to their final score, but they came up shy, taking a 6-4 loss.
The Trojans weren’t ready to give up yet, though, and for the game immediately following, they took the Panthers out, winning 9-6.
This game, like the last, saw no runs in the first inning; however, it was not long before the Trojans put themselves on the board.
They began by scoring two runs in the bottom of the second. Junior outfielder Chelsea Eytel singled bringing in freshman Bria Epps who was pinch running for Winters. Immediately after, Phelps was hit home by junior catcher Alison Milam.
The top of the third saw some amazing fielding for the Trojans with freshman shortstop Becca Hartley getting the third out off a diving catch and tagging an attempted Panther steal of second.
The Trojans kept their mojo going through the next inning, scoring four more runs in the bottom of the second, and then giving up points in the top of the fourth and the fifth.
Going into the bottom of the sixth, the Trojans faced a pivotal moment as the score gap had narrowed to 7-6 with Troy in the lead.
With the pressure on, Troy came through with outstanding freshman designated player Mackenzie Kayler’s hit to left field, giving the Trojans two more insurance runs making the final score 9-6.
Unfortunately, that momentum did not make it through Sunday as Georgia State came on to the field with bats blazing and took an early lead that the Trojans were not able to overcome.
Determined not to let the Panthers run away with the game, the Trojans did secure one run when senior third baseman Taylor Smartt was driven home by Phelps, but this was not enough to overcome the early lead that the Panthers had procured.
Despite impressive relief pitching by sophomore Sara Mock, the Panthers rose to a final score of 6-1, defeating the Trojans.
“We have to keep fighting, keep battling, keep working and try on our form,” said head coach Melanie Davis. “I know these kids are putting forth great efforts, but we need to find a way to execute.”
Troy fell to Southern Mississippi, 6-4, in the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, April 1, but came back and won 7-6 in the following eight inning game.
The Trojans will take to the road once more for their next game on Saturday, April 5, in Monroe, La., against the University of Louisiana-Monroe at 2 p.m.