Troy softball wins two of three at ULM, falls to Samford at home

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy softball team won its three-game series against UL-Monroe, taking both games of the doubleheader, 5-4 and 6-3, but dropping the final game 0-2.

With both wins, the Trojans (25-15, 6-6 Sun Belt) snapped a three-game losing streak after tough road games against South Carolina and Auburn.

Game one of the doubleheader against ULM, which took place on Saturday, April 9, was a close contest from start to finish, and required extra innings to decide a victor.

Troy got on the board in the first inning, with senior left fielder Erica Davis and senior second baseman Kate Benton each scoring unearned runs on a throwing error by the Warhawks (20-23, 5-10 Sun Belt). The Trojans added to those runs later in the fourth inning when Benton singled up the middle to bring senior shortstop Becca Hartley across the plate. The runs gave Troy a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth.

That was when the Warhawks found their offensive rhythm, putting up four runs off of a pair of home runs and an RBI single from second baseman Cheyanne Lyon. The runs resulted in a 4-3 ULM lead going into the fifth inning.

Senior right fielder Hannah Day saved the Trojans from a loss in the seventh inning, hitting a solo homer to tie the game at four runs apiece. Day’s run forced two extra innings of play, setting up Davis in the top of the ninth inning to bat in sophomore center fielder Carli Kayler on a flyout.

The run gave Troy a 5-4 lead that it held to come away with the win. Following the win, the Trojans immediately prepared for the nightcap of the series’ doubleheader, meeting similar results.

Junior first baseman Meg Willis gave Troy the lead in the second inning, hitting a solo homer to put Troy on the board. ULM responded in the bottom of the inning, however, bringing across two runs to take the lead going into the third.

The Trojans took the lead right back in the fourth, as Willis hit another home run, this one bringing in two runs to go along with RBIs from Day and Kayler. When the dust settled, Troy owned a 5-2 lead after four.

ULM and Troy each scored one run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings respectively, as the Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the series.

Troy lost its offensive prowess in the third and final game of the series, as they were held scoreless by ULM’s junior pitcher Melanie Coyne.

In seven innings of pitching, Coyne held the Trojans to just two hits. Additionally, she struck out two batters and forced 16 flyouts.

With the score at 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Warhawks put up two quick runs that ended up being all they needed to hold off the Trojans and rob the visitors of a series sweep.

Troy tried to bounce back from the loss on Wednesday, April 13, when it took on Samford at home, but met similar results as its previous game instead.

The Bulldogs (24-16, 8-1 Southern) put up a pair of runs in the first inning to take a lead that they never conceded in the game.

Day singled up the middle to bring in Benton for Troy’s first run in the third inning, but for the most part, the Trojans struggled from the plate in the early going.

Samford took advantage of this and scored four runs in the top of the fourth thanks to an RBI single, double, triple and home run that gave it a commanding 6-1 lead.

The Trojans made a valiant comeback in the sixth inning, however, scoring five runs. Three of those runs came off a three-run RBI double to left center field from Kayler, making the score 6-6 going into the final inning.

But once again, late runs by an opponent robbed Troy of a win, as a two-run RBI single from freshman pinch hitter Anna Yantis brought across the winning runs for Samford in an 8-6 victory over the home team.

The Trojans return to action on Saturday, April 16, when they take on conference foe Texas State at 1 p.m. at the Troy Softball Complex.

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