Trojan softball hosts Troy Classic, falls at Alabama

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy softball team met mixed success this week, falling to Ole Miss, McNeese State and Alabama, but defeating Eastern Illinois and Tennessee Tech twice.

All of those games, which were hosted at the Troy Softball Complex, saw the Trojans improve their record to 7-3 on the season.

Troy’s first game of the tournament came against a talented Ole Miss team in game 1 of a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 19. After going up 1-0 following the first two innings of play, the Rebels (8-2, 0-0 SEC) opened up the game with two runs in the third inning and four more in the fifth.

Ole Miss was led offensively by freshman shortstop Hailey Lunderman, who recorded two hits in four at-bats, including an RBI double to get her team on the board in the top of the third inning.

Senior pitcher Ashley Rainey took the 1-6 loss for the Trojans, despite striking out two batters and walking none.

Troy bounced back from the loss in a big way, putting up 13 runs against Eastern Illinois in the nightcap of the Trojans’ doubleheader. Despite falling behind 5-1 at the top of the fourth inning, Troy responded by outscoring the Panthers (3-7, 0-0 Ohio Valley) 12-1 in the final three innings to win 13-6.

Senior right fielder Hannah Day added two more home runs to her career total, going 2-for-4 at the plate and racking up five RBIs in a game that looked nearly out of reach for the home team. Day was backed up by senior first baseman Amanda Winters, who also hit a two-run bomb to help lift the Trojans past EIU.

Troy didn’t miss a beat offensively in the second day of competition, putting up 11 runs in its victory over Tennessee Tech the next day. Six of those came in the opening inning, with Day hitting yet another home run that brought in two to get things going for Troy.

The Trojans were able to take advantage of poor pitching in the game, finding ways to score off of the six walks and 10 errors recorded by the pair of Golden Eagle pitchers.

Tennessee Tech (3-6, 0-0 Ohio Valley) never was able to recover after the first inning, putting up just two more runs in a game that was decided in five innings. Freshman pitcher Peyton Glover (1-0) got her first win of the season, despite giving up seven hits and two walks in five innings pitched.

A heartbreaking loss was in store for the Trojans as they lost game two of their doubleheader against McNeese State in a 3-2 thriller that needed nine innings.

The Cowgirls (7-2, 0-0 Southland) drew first blood in the third, with sophomore second baseman Hailey Drew batting in a run to give her team the lead. Another run in the top of the fifth put McNeese State ahead by two.

That lead that felt bigger than it was because of a seven-strikeout performance from the two Cowgirl pitchers.

Troy put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to force extra innings, but the game-winning run came from senior shortstop Taylor Goree, who stole home to lift the Cowgirls past the hosting Trojans.

Following the loss, Troy came back the following day to end the Troy Classic on a positive note, topping Tennessee Tech again, by a score of 6-2.

The Golden Eagles went up early off a two-run bomb in the first inning, but sophomore right fielder Erica Davis’ three RBIs off two hits helped lead the way for Troy to come away with the win.

Two-run RBIs from Davis and senior second baseman Kate Benton sealed the game for the Trojans, while freshman pitcher Claire Graves picked up her second win of the season off four strikeouts and just one walk.

Following the Classic, Troy traveled to Tuscaloosa to play its first road game of the season against Alabama.

The Trojans struggled mightly against junior pitcher Sydney Littlejohn, who struck out seven batters, allowed just four hits and gave up no runs.

Alternatively, the Crimson Tide had six individuals record at least one hit, allowing Alabama to come away with the 8-0 victory.

The Trojans will return to the field when they take on Dayton in their first game in the Troy Warrior Classic hosted at the Troy Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

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