Powerful Chapel Hill too much for Troup
LAGRANGE – A week ago, the Troup Lady Tigers had the unenviable task of facing one of the state’s top pitchers in Central-Carroll’s Emily Williams, who struck out 22 batters in seven innings.
On Tuesday, Troup was back in action, this time against a Chapel Hill team that won a state championship a year ago and figures to be in the mix for the title once again.
Welcome to life in Region 5-AAAA.
The region features a trio of teams in Chapel Hill, Central-Carroll and Cedartown who all have lock-down dominant pitchers.
The rest of the region isn’t too shabby either, with LaGrange, Troup and Cartersville all in the mix for the fourth spot.
Only a struggling Sandy Creek team has not been competitive this season.
Troup competed well in Tuesday’s game against Chapel Hill and did a much better job at the plate than it did last week against Central-Carroll, but the result was still an 11-2 loss.
While Chapel Hill had its share of solid hits in the game, including a home run in the seventh inning, it also had a whole bunch of bloop hits, and it also took advantage of some defensive miscues by Troup.
“It was a lot closer than 11-2,” said Troup head coach Mason Brackett, whose team is 1-5 in the region. “But, we continue to make mistakes. We’re not a good enough team where we can make four or five errors. Instead of getting the last out of an inning we have an error, and the next thing you know three or four runs have scored. We just made too many mistakes.”
Troup also had some tough breaks in the game.
One of those came in the top of the second inning with Troup pitcher Abby Taylor on the mound.
With two outs and a pair of runners on and Chapel Hill up 1-0, Taylor got a groundball, but the ball took a bad bounce and went over the third baseman’s head for a two-out single.
Another RBI hit pushed the lead to 4-0 and capped a three-run inning.
Troup cut that deficit in half in the bottom of the second with a pair of runs.
Madison McCartney led off the inning with a base hit, and after Taylor reached on a fielder’s choice, Kinley Stanford’s infield single put runners on first and second.
After a wild pitch allowed Troup’s runners to move up a base, Cierra Gilbert legged out an infield single to drive in a run, and it was a 4-1 game.
Andrea Nix then reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in another run, and Troup was within two.
It remained a 4-2 game until Chapel Hill plated three runs in the top of the fourth.
The damage could have been worse, but Taylor got a strikeout and a groundout with runners on second and third to end the inning.
Chapel Hill added a single run in the fifth inning, and three more in the seventh inning to cap the scoring.
Troup had its chances to put more runs on the board, but it left runners on base in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
While Troup had a handful of errors, it also had some stellar defensive players.
Catcher Maddie Weathers threw a pair of potential base-stealers out, right fielder Skyle Loftin made a nice running catch in the fourth inning, and shortstop Kayla Lane made a diving stop and flipped the ball to second for a forceout in the sixth inning.
Troup’s next region game will be on Sept. 15 when it hosts LaGrange.
In the first meeting between those teams, LaGrange won 8-2.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports