by Rylee Bamberger
The Troy softball team improved to 10-5 after their road trip to Tallahassee, Florida, where Trojans competed in the Unconquered Invitational.
The Unconquered Invitational is an annual tournament at Florida State. This year’s participants include Florida Gulf Coast, Lamar, FSU and Troy.
Troy opened the tournament with a 5-4 victory over FGCU. Leanna Johnson earned her sixth victory on the season, relying on the Trojans offense to defend the lead. Sophomore utility Taylor McKinney hit two home runs and recorded four RBIs to secure the win.
Troy made a statement in the following game against Lamar. Freshman Olivia Cato earned her first career shutout in the Trojans 8-0 victory. Junior infielder Kennedi Gaton hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to blow the game open.
The Trojans lost both games on the second day of the tournament. In the first game, FGCU split the series with the Trojans after a 6-1 win.
The Trojans fought to the very end against the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles. However, the national-ranked squad was able to escape with the victory.
The Trojans gained an early lead in the second inning, capitalizing on an error by the Seminoles. However, this was answered in the bottom of the third inning after senior outfielder Kaley Mudge recorded an RBI double to even the score.
Johnson was relieved in the fifth inning by Cato. Outfielder Jahni Kerr hit the game-winning home run after the Trojans’ late rally was stopped short.
On the last day of the tournament, the Trojans recorded their 10th win of the season. Johnson led the Trojans to finish their road trip strong with a 2-0 victory over Lamar.
Johnson, the NCAA’s active leader in career shutouts, recorded six strikeouts in seven innings to record her 31st career shutout. Johnson improved to a 7-1 record on the season.
The Trojans travel to Jacksonville, Florida to participate in the JU/UNF Spring Break Challenge. This tournament is put on by Jacksonville (8-6) and the North Florida (8-4).
The Trojans will play a doubleheader against Jacksonville on Friday, March 3, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, March 4, the Trojans will play a doubleheader against UNF at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The Trojans will end the tournament against Charleston Southern on Sunday, March 5 at 11 a.m.