Troup pulls away from Sandy Creek
Published 11:42 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
She was on the ropes.
Troup pitcher Avery Pearson was struggling to find the strike zone early in Tuesday’s region opener against Sandy Creek, and Makenzie Miller was warming up in case she needed to go to the mound.
Troup head coach Kayla Yeargin stuck with her freshman hurler, though, and that decision paid major dividends.
Pearson settled in and started throwing strikes consistently, and she tossed a six-inning complete game as Troup (3-6 overall) beat Sandy Creek 9-1 in the first Region 5-AAAA game for both teams.
“We left her in, and she came through like a champ,” Yeargin said. “She found the zone, and she came back and got the fly balls and the ground balls we were asking for the whole game.”
It took Troup awhile to get the bats going as well.
It was tied 1-1 through three innings, but Troup scored eight runs in next three innings to win going away.
Skye Loftin ended it with an RBI double off the left-field fence in the bottom of the sixth that brought the run rule into play.
That was part of a monster day for Loftin, who had two doubles and a triple, all in the final three innings.
“We were asleep for a while, the last couple of games in the Callaway Classic,” Yeargin said. “We were looking for base hits, and we found them. The last couple of innings it came together.”
It was a solid start to region play for Troup, although things will get a lot more difficult down the road.
The region features some power-house teams, including Central-Carroll and Chapel Hill, who have both won state championships in recent years.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Yeargin said. “Bring on the challenge. We’re up for it.”
Against Sandy Creek, Troup manufactured a run in the bottom of the first to take the lead.
Leadoff hitter Kayla Lane was hit by a pitch, something that happened three times in the game, and she later scored on a passed ball.
Sandy Creek pushed a run across in the second inning to tie it at 1-1, and that’s the way it remained until Troup scored twice in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Loftin got things started with a double, and Olivia McInvale followed with a walk, and both players later scored on wild pitches.
After Pearson threw a perfect top of the fifth, Troup broke it open with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Lane was hit by a pitch for the third time leading off the inning, and she scored on a base hit by Pearson.
Pearson came around to score on an error to push the lead to 5-1.
Loftin’s RBI triple gave Troup a 6-1 lead, and Casey Sani’s base hit drove in another run and capped the four-run inning.
Troup finished it with a pair of runs in the sixth inning.
Lane reached on a one-out triple, and she scored on a double by Madison McCartney.
That brought Loftin to the plate, and she lined the ball off the left-field fence, and McCartney trotted home with the game’s final run.
Troup will host Callaway on Thursday before continuing region play with a doubleheader at Cartersville on Saturday.