Softball tops ‘Nova, falls to Auburn

Hanna Cooper

Staff Writer

The Troy softball team traveled to Auburn to participate in the Tiger Invitational last weekend. Troy finished the trip  3-2 after losing in extra innings to North Dakota State and falling to No. 21 Auburn. 

On opening day of play, Troy downed Eastern Illinois, 3-0, before dropping an extra inning heartbreaker to North Dakota State, 3-2.

Against Eastern Illinois, Troy struck first in the top of the third. Talia Truitt got aboard in a bunt single. Katie Webb followed with a double to left center to put runners in scoring position for Bailey Taylor. Taylor scored both runners with a single through the left side.

The Trojans added another run in the top of the fifth to cap off their lead for good. Leanna Johnson allowed only two hits and one walk, recording 14 strikeouts. Johnson eclipsed the 50-strikeout mark for the season after her fourth in the game.

In the night cap, Troy took on North Dakota State. Brooke Echols sent the game into extra innings with a dramatic two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, but North Dakota State escaped with the victory with an unearned run in the ninth inning of the game.

On day two of the tournament, Leanna Johnson’s dominance in the circle continues after scattering two hits and recording 14 strikeouts to down Villanova, 6-1. Before the game against Villanova, Troy opened play that morning with a gritty win against Eastern Illinois, 4-3.

“I was really proud of the fight and grit we showed today in two hard fought wins,” said Head Coach Beth Mullins. “Our pitching staff was amazing along with our defense behind them, and we capped it off with some timely hitting.”

On Sunday, Troy dropped a tough one to No. 21 Auburn, 3-1, after holding Auburn scoreless for six out of seven innings of play.

Talia Truitt led off the game with a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Madeline Porter put Truitt in scoring position for Katie Webb. Webb followed with a single to left field to score Truitt from second.

In the bottom of the fourth, Auburn’s Taylon Snow walked, and Aspyn Godwin got on with a single to put two on with two outs. Justus Perry sent a long ball over the left field wall to give Auburn the lead for good. 

Coming out of the weekend, Leanna Johnson leads the nation in strikeouts. The freshman recorded 33 strikeouts this weekend bringing her total up to 79. 

Bailey Taylor leads the Sun Belt Conference in RBIs with 21 and hit by pitches with seven.

Troy travels to Tampa, Florida to play in the USF Invitational. Troy’s first game will be at 10 a.m. Friday, March 1 against Furman.

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