Troup stays alive in region tournament
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
With its season on the line, the Troup High softball team came through with a winning performance.
Troup opened its stay in the Region 2-AAAA tournament with a 7-6 loss to Shaw on Monday, setting up a must-win showdown with Hardaway later in the day.
Troup started quickly with seven first-inning runs, and it rolled to a 12-3 victory to advance in the double-elimination region tournament.
Troup still has a chance to win the region championship, although there is a lot of work to do.
Troup would have to win four games on Wednesday, including two against LaGrange, to claim the region title.
If Troup wins two games on Wednesday, it would finish no lower than second, which means it would host a first-round series in the state tournament.
First up for Troup will be a game against Columbus on Wednesday at 2 p.m., and it would play again at 4 p.m. with a win.
“I’m excited (for Wednesday),” said Troup head coach Ryan Simpson. “They’ll do good. They’re ready.”
In Monday’s first game, Troup appeared to be in good shape after taking a 5-1 lead after the first inning, but Shaw rallied to tie it at 5-5 after five innings.
Troup reclaimed the lead on an Emilee Johnson base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Shaw answered with two runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
Troup got a two-out single from Lexi Parker in the bottom of the seventh, but she was left stranded, and Shaw secured the 7-6 win.
Simpson felt her team got too comfortable after the fast start.
“They thought they had it, and they didn’t,” Simpson said. “I told them they came to play, and we didn’t. That’s how it goes.”
Caroline McInvale had a triple and two RBIs for Troup, and Lexi Parker and Casey Sani each had two hits and an RBI.
Johnson and Makayla Giles each had a hit and an RBI, Maggie McDonald had a double, and Haley Cotton had a hit and a walk, and Ramsey Clark walked and scored a run.
Giles, Haley Kitchens and McDonald each pitched for Troup.
After a short break, Troup returned to the field and overwhelmed Hardaway.
After starting pitcher Catherine Smalley set Hardaway down in the top of the first, Troup went to work and scored seven runs in the bottom of the inning.
Troup added single runs in the second and fourth innings while scoring three runs in the bottom of the second.
Parker had two of Troup’s nine hits, and she had one RBI and two runs scored.
Jennifer Albertson had a double and an RBI, and Johnson had a hit and two RBIs.
McInvale and Sani each had a hit and an RBI, and Kitchens and Smalley had one hit apiece.
Cotton, hitting in the leadoff position, had two RBIs, and she walked twice.
Smalley, the winning pitcher, threw 3 1/3 innings and held Hardaway to one hit, and both of the runs she allowed were unearned.
McDonald pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, and she limited Hardaway to one hit and one run.