Facing Carrollton in a must-win game in the Region 5-AAAA tournament on Wednesday at Shuford Fields, the Lady Tigers lost 8-0, ending their tournament run, as well as their season.
Brooklyn Emory hammered a two run home run over the center-field fence in the first inning for the Lady Trojans, and they didn’t look back.
After the game, the players and coaches huddled one last time, sharing hugs while the tears flowed freely.
“I’ve got three great seniors, three great kids,” head coach Blair Shimandle said of seniors Jessica Gilbert, Hannah Easterwood and Taylor Morris. “They’ve all come so far the last two years and it’s just so tough to have it end so early. They all have a lot of heart and are great athletes. And they wanted it. Every single player underneath them wanted it. Every single player on this team wanted it.”
After beating Sandy Creek in the play-in game last week, the Lady Tigers fell into the loser’s bracket with a loss to Alexander on Tuesday before succumbing to Carrollton a day later.
Shimandle knew her team’s path in the tournament was going to be a tough one because of the depth of talent in the region.
“Our region is tough. You have to give them all the credit,” Shimandle said. “They’re great teams. We know it’s a challenge.”
Against Carrollton, Troup had trouble generating any offense.
The Lady Tigers didn’t get any hits until the third inning when Jordan Pike reached on an infield hit, and the only other base runner was outfielder Kalah Mingo, who reached on a throwing error.
The good news is Troup will return a strong core of experienced players.
Many players who weren’t expected to get much time on the field this season did play a lot because of injuries.
One of those players is freshman Emily Green, who filled in nicely at pitcher while Morris was out with an injury.
“The good thing is, we only have three (seniors),” Shimandle said. “We dealt with some injuries this year, and I couldn’t be more proud of them. We’ve got a lot of girls that got experience. And at this point, now it’s time to start focusing on next year.”