Troup pushes Cedartown to the limit
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
CEDARTOWN – They were one win away from state, but it wasn’t meant to be for the Troup Lady Tigers.
After Cedartown and Troup split a doubleheader on Saturday, they returned to the softball field on Monday evening for a winner-take-all game three in their Region 5-AAAA playoff series.
In a low-scoring and hard-fought game, it was Cedartown prevailing 3-1 to advance to the third-place game in the region playoffs while also qualifying for the state tournament.
For Troup, it was a heart-breaking end to the season, but
head coach Kayla Yeargin was proud of the way her team competed with so much on the line.
“It was probably the best game we’ve played all season, we just didn’t get lucky, unfortunately,” Yeargin said. “We were hitting it hard we just didn’t get any breaks when you needed it.”
Yeargin appreciates the support the team received from the fans, who made the trip to Cedartown on both days.
“On the road, and that far away, and our fans are spectacular,” Yeargin said. “We had more fans today than we even had on Saturday. For our people to travel that far, it speaks a lot. It makes my heart happy, and I know it makes the girls feel good that they had so much support there.”
Troup scored its lone run in the top of the fifth inning, with Hadleigh Livingston coming through with an RBI single to drive in courtesy runner Casey Sani.
Maggie McDonald was the tough-luck loser for Troup.
McDonald gave up 10 hits, but she held Cedartown to three runs and none after the fourth inning, giving Troup a chance to win the game.
“Maggie’s stellar on the mound,” Yeargin said. “We call her Maggie Ice. She doesn’t let anything shake her. She bounces back, and she’s resilient.”
Morgan Watkins had two of Troup’s four hits, and Livingston and McDonald each had one hit.
McDonald and Haley Cotton also reached on walks.
After the game, Yeargin had her final post-game meeting of the season, and she had to say goodbye to the three seniors, Olivia McInvale, Skye Loftin and Tashauna Askew.
“These three seniors have been awesome, so it’s hard to see them leave,” Yeargin said.
On Saturday, Troup got the series started with a dramatic, come-from-behind 6-4 victory.
Troup was trailing 4-1 when it pushed five runs across in the top of the seventh, with the final two runs scoring in unusual fashion.
The game was tied 4-4 when Skye Loftin hit what appeared to be a harmless pop-up to the catcher in foul territory.
After the catcher caught the ball, there was no one covering home plate, so Olivia McInvale came racing home with the go-ahead run. The Cedartown player with the ball was paying attention to the runner at first, so an alert Casey Sani sprinted home with another run, and Troup led 6-4.
Lexi Parker had an RBI single in the inning, and another run scored when McInvale walked with the bases loaded.
Livingston, Jennifer Albertson and Avery Pearson both had two hits for Troup, and Albertson had an RBI.
Parker and Caroline McInvale also had hits, and McDonald had an RBI.
McDonald secured the complete-game victory, giving up eight hits and four runs, and she held Cedartown scoreless after the second inning.
In Saturday’s second game, it was all Cedartown, which won 21-7 in a game shortened to five innings because of the run rule.
Morgan Watkins and Lexi Parker each had two hits for Troup, and Watkins had an RBI.
Avery Pearson had a hit and two RBIs.
Tashauna Askew, Caroline McInvale, Olivia McInvale and Jennifer Albertson each had a hit and an RBI, and Casey Sani had a hit.
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