Troup bows out in state tourney

Published 9:35 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

TUNNEL HILL – It’s the end of the road for the Troup Lady Tigers.

After an inspired performance in the Region 5-AAAA tournament that secured a spot in the state playoffs, Troup went on the road to face a strong Northwest Whitfield team in the first round.

Northwest Whitfield, which finished second in Region 6-AAAA, ended the regular season as the top-ranked team in the state.

Northwest won the first game 10-1 before finishing the sweep with a 6-2 win.

Despite the disappointing way the season ended, Troup head coach Mason Brackett was proud of what his players accomplished over the past few weeks.

After beating Cartersville in the first round of the region tournament, Troup got past Cedartown to earn the third seed.

“We went through that stretch over a two-week period where we went 1-7 leading up to the region tournament,” Brackett said. “Then we took two out of three from Cartersville, and beat Cedartown. So it wasn’t a fluke. We played well.”

In the second game on Wednesday, Troup took a 1-0 lead before Northwest scored a run in the second inning to tie it.

Northwest plated four runs in the top of the third to take the lead.

Trailing 6-1, Troup scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to get within four, but the comeback fell short.

“We could just never get that two-out hit,” Brackett said. “We were always a hit away from being right back in the ballgame. It’s tough, but we battled and competed the whole game.”

In the first game, Kayla Lane and Maddie Livingston had hits for Troup, and Skye Loftin walked and scored the only run in the second inning.

Hadleigh Livingston was hit by a pitch in the second inning.

In the second game, Troup enjoyed a lot more offensive success, although it was limited to two runs.

In the first game, Lane led off the bottom of the second with a double.

Abby Taylor followed with a bunt single, and Lane scored when the throw to first got away.

Loftin reached on a walk to put two runners on, but Northwest’s pitcher got a pair of strikeouts to end the threat.

Troup threatened again in the second.

Hadleigh Livingston led off with an infield single, and Lane and Taylor both walked to load the bases, but Troup was unable to score.

Trailing 5-1, Troup tried to get something going in the fourth inning.

With two outs, Christina Garcia was hit by a pitch, and Lane singled.

Taylor ripped the ball into the outfield for a hit, but Garcia was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

In the seventh inning, Taylor got things started with a double, and after moving up a base on a Maddie Weathers groundout, she scored on a Loftin flyout to cap the scoring.

Lane and Taylor both had two hits for Troup.

Mackenzie pitched well in relief in Game 2 for Troup, allowing one run in 4 2/3 innings in relief of Taylor.

It was the final game for Troup’s three seniors, Maddie Weathers, Abby Taylor and Maddie Livingston.

“They made the playoffs three out of four years, and that’s an accomplishment in itself,” Brackett said.

While those players will be missed, the future appears bright.

“We’ve got a lot coming back,” Brackett said of the returning players. “We hope they’re hungry, and want to host their own playoff game, and have a playoff atmosphere at Troup High School.”