Big win for Troup softball
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – They kept swinging away.
The Troup Lady Tigers opened their Region 5-AAAA schedule with a big-time win against a team that has been among the state’s best in recent years.
Chapel Hill, which won a state title two years ago and made the elite eight last season, arrived at Troup High on Thursday afternoon looking to start region play in winning fashion.
Instead, it was the hot-hitting Lady Tigers rolling to an 8-4 victory in a game that ended in the top of the sixth inning after the arrival of a heavy rainstorm.
“That’s one of the biggest wins I’ve been a part of the past five years,” Troup head coach Mason Brackett said. “I can’t recall a win that big.
“To beat an opponent like that, and get off on a 1-0 start (in region), I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The Lady Tigers improved to 3-0 overall, and they’ve scored a combined 24 runs in those three games.
It was hitters throughout the lineup getting it done in Saturday’s wins over Callaway and LaGrange, and that was the case against Chapel Hill as well.
All nine hitters contributed in some way to the eight-run outburst.
“That’s what I keep preaching to the young hitters at the bottom of the order is, your job is to put the ball in play, and find a way to get on base,” Brackett said.
Abby Taylor got the job done on the pitcher’s mound with the five-inning complete gmae, and all four runs she allowed were unearned.
Chapel Hill took the lead with a run in the top of the first inning, and Troup tied it in the bottom of the third.
Kayla Lane walked, Christina Garcia reached on a bunt single, and Maddie Weathers drove in the first of her four runs with a groundout.
Chapel Hill threatened in the top of the third, but it was unable to score despite getting three people on base.
Weathers, Troup’s senior catcher, threw a potential base stealer out, and Garcia made a nice catch at the fence in center field.
Chapel Hill went back ahead with a run in the top of the fourth, but that lead was short-lived.
The Lady Tigers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth to turn a 2-1 deficit into a four-run lead.
Skye Loftin and Abby Taylor got things started with back-to-back singles, and Olivia McInvale reached on a bunt hit to load the bases.
After a fielder’s choice, number nine hitter Hadleigh Livingston stepped into the batter’s box with the bases still loaded.
Livingston ripped the ball to left field for the RBI single, and it was tied 2-2.
Next up was Lane in the leadoff position, and she walked to bring in another run and give Troup the lead.
Two batters later, Weathers drove a two-strike pitch to left field for a two-run single, and Troup led 5-2.
The Lady Tigers weren’t done.
Madison McCartney ripped the ball to left field for an RBI double, and Troup was up 6-2.
Chapel Hill answered with two runs in the top of the fifth, and Troup’s lead was down to two.
The Lady Tigers responded with a two-run rally of their own to extend the lead back to four.
Taylor and Makenzie Miller singled, and they each moved up a base on a bunt by Livingston.
After an intentional walk to Lane, Garcia’s two-out, RBI single pushed the Troup lead to 7-4.
“It was a huge hit by Christina Garcia,” Brackett said. “They intentionally walk Kayla to load the bases to get to her, and she had a big, two-out hit.”
With the bases still full, Weathers was hit by a pitch to cap the scoring.
In the top of the sixth, it started raining, and when it began coming down heavier, the teams were pulled from the field.
Once the field was deemed unplayable, the game was called, and Troup had the big win.
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