Seventh-inning rally powers Troup

Published 12:23 am Friday, October 6, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – Troup’s Skye Loftin was a walk-off hero for the second time this season.

On the opening day of the season, it was Loftin coming through with a base hit to lift Troup to a dramatic 9-8 victory over LaGrange.

On Thursday, Loftin stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh with a chance to give Troup a win over Cedartown in the third-place game in the Region 5-AAAA tournament.

Just as she did against LaGrange, Loftin was up to the challenge.

Loftin’s RBI single brought in the winning run as Troup topped Cedartown 6-5 to secure the number three seed for the upcoming state playoffs.

Troup trailed 5-3 heading into the seventh, but it rallied for three runs to get the come-from-behind win.

The win capped a sensational run through the region tournament for Troup.

Troup went on the road and won a best-of-three series against Cartersville to secure a spot in the state playoffs.

Troup then returned home and stayed hot against Cedartown.

The Lady Tigers came into the tournament having lost seven of eight games, but they’ve found their footing at the right time.

“It’s been an up-and-down season,” Troup coach Mason Brackett said. “We’ve had some highs, and we’ve had some really lows. And for them to play like this, and to get the highest seed we could possibly come out with in our region tournament, I’ll take that, especially with having to go to Cartersville and play three games over a two-day stretch, especially with all the travel.”

Although Troup trailed late against Cedartown, Brackett felt his team had a great chance of putting together a late rally.

“I had a good feeling,” Brackett said. “We went into the bottom of the sixth, and it was five, six and seven coming up. I told the coaches, we’ve got to find a way to get one runner on base, that way we’ll have nine, one two (in the seventh). Our nine-hole hitter (Christina Garcia), she can bunt, and she’s fast, and she finds ways on base. So we got a base hit in the bottom of the sixth, and that’s all I was looking for.”

Garcia led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single, and after a Kayla Lane double, Abby Taylor tied it with a two-run single, and she went to second on the throw home.

Cedartown’s coach opted to walk Maddie Weathers, bringing Loftin to the play, and she came through with the game-winner.

Lane, after her monster series against Cartersville where she had two home runs, six hits and 15 RBI, kept it going against Cedartown with a pair of doubles and an RBI.

Taylor, hitting in the number two spot behind Lane, had three hits and three RBIs, and Loftin had two hits and two RBIs.

Weathers had a double, Olivia McInvale had a hit, and Garcia had a hit and two runs scored.

Mackenzie Miller was terrific on the pitcher’s mound, throwing a complete game while giving up just two earned runs.

Troup will visit Northwest Whitfield on Wednesday for the opening round of the state playoffs.