Softball wins 3 of 4 on road, defeats SEC team

(Photo/Zenith Shrestha)

Sophomore pitcher Leanna Johnson earned 21 shutouts, two shutouts and a save last weekend.

Hanna Cooper

Staff Writer

Troy Softball picked up two shutout wins over Charlotte and a win over No. 16 South Carolina last weekend at the Black and Garnet Challenge in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Trojans’ only loss of the weekend came to the Gamecocks in walk-off fashion. 

Troy opened play in the Black and Garnet Challenge on Saturday. 

Troy became the first team to beat the Gamecocks (11-4) in a home tournament since 2015. It also marks the first time Troy has beaten an SEC opponent since 2012 when the Trojans toppled Auburn.

The Trojans tossed a combined two-hitter to power past No. 16 South Carolina, 2-1, after Leanna Johnson picked up her sixth shutout of the season in a 10-0 shutout of the 49ers.

Johnson’s efforts earned her the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week award, according to the league office on Tuesday.

Johnson etched her name into Troy’s single-season shutout record at number nine with her sixth. The sophomore also sits in eighth place after pitching seven shutouts last season.

“I thought our pitching staff was very consistent all day,” Head Coach Beth Mullins said. “Leanna and Kynsley threw two great games. 

“As a team, we are just doing a good job of living pitch-to-pitch on defense and at the plate, and we are playing Troy Softball. I am excited to get back out there tomorrow and continue to take it one pitch at a time.”

The Trojans struck first in the top of the second inning against Charlotte when Meagan Patterson blasted her second home run of the season, a two-run shot over the center field wall.

Jade Sinness tacked on another run in the top of the third inning with a single to score Katie Emmal.

 In the top of the fourth, Katie Lively smoked a three-run long ball to give her a pair of home runs on the year.

 Kelly Horne and Kaylee Chapman both added homers to give Troy the run-rule win over the 49ers.

Against the Gamecocks, Kynsley Rae Blasingame picked up her second win of the season, scattering a run and a hit in 4.1 innings of work. The junior held the Gamecocks hitless through the first four innings.

 Troy broke the scoreless streak on both sides when Lively blasted a two-run home run to give the Trojans the lead once and for all in the top of the fifth inning.

 South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the inning with a run but could not find the tying run. 

On Sunday, The Trojans downed Charlotte, 8-0, powered by Blasingame’s shutout performance before dropping a heart-breaker to host No. 16 South Carolina, 5-2, in the final day of the Black and Garnet Challenge. 

Troy’s offense smashed 12 hits to run-rule the 49ers in five innings.

 Sinness kicked off the scoring, smoking a solo shot over the right field wall in the bottom of the second inning.

 Katie Webb and Horne tacked on two runs in the bottom of the third inning with a groundout and hit to shallow left center.

Meagan Patterson scored Webb in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly before hits by Webb, Horne, Sinness, Libby Baker and Candela Figueroa scored three runs to end the game early.

In game four of the weekend, the Trojans saw their first loss of the tournament in the final game. 

With two-outs and runners on first and second, South Carolina’s Hannah Kumiyama hit a walk-off home run to push the Gamecocks past Troy.

Sinness blasted a two-run home run to put the Trojans on top in the top of the fifth inning.

South Carolina answered with a two-run long ball in the bottom half of the inning, setting freshman Kumiyama up for the two-out walk-off.

The Trojans now shift their efforts to the opening weekend of Sun Belt Conference play. 

Troy travels to UT-Arlington for a three-game series this weekend. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. in Arlington, Texas.

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