TSU softball team sweeps UAB in season opener

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 11, 2001

Led by two strong pitching performances and sharp defense, Troy State opened its 2001 softball campaign with a doubleheader sweep of in-state rival UAB, giving head coach Melanie Davis her 300th career win at Troy State.

The Lady Trojans (2-0) won the opening game 1-0, behind a complete game shutout by Kim Unkeholz. In the second game, Cassie Wilkenson took the mound and came home with a complete game, 3-1 win.

"Our pitching was really strong today," according Davis, who is also the all-time winningest coach in Troy State softball history. "Kim and Cassie gave us two strong outings, and the defense played really well behind them which allowed them to relax on the mound."

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Offensively, the Lady Trojans were paced by Kami Marrott, Peggy Swift and Mindy Porep. Marrott led Troy State, going 4-for-6 in the doubleheader with Swift going for 4-for-8. Porep had the striking blow in both games with the game winning RBI in each.

"Our offense really did well today," said Davis. "They really stepped up in clutch situations for us. Kami and Peggy had excellent games at the plate and Mindy’s hit the second game was the difference in the game."

The first game was a pitcher’s duel. Unkenholz mowed down the Blazers, allowing just two hits in seven innings. She struck out ten while not walking a batter. With the game tied a zero in the seventh, Porep got a two-out single that scored Bridget McInnes and gave the Lady Trojans a 1-0 lead. Unkenholz did the rest as the Lady Trojans held on to win the opener.

The Lady Trojans jumped out early in the second game, going up 1-0 on a McInnes one-out single to left field scoring Marrott in third inning. UAB would answer back with a run in the fifth, as Jessica Brown hit a single to left, driving home Beth Mullins to tie the game at one. But TSU would answer back quickly, scoring a run in the sixth, as Renie Mitchell singled to right field and moved to second on passed ball. She would score on an error by the catcher to put TSU up 2-1.

The Lady Trojans got some insurance in the top of the seventh when Porep hit another clutch, two-out single, this one driving home Molly Homer, who led off the inning with a double, to give Troy State a 3-1 lead. Wilkenson shut down the Blazers in the bottom half of the inning to finish off the sweep. For the game, Wilkenson allowed just three hits and one unearned run. She struck out four, while walking three.

Davis, who is beginning her eighth season as head coach, has guided the Lady Trojans to five 40-plus win seasons since coming to Troy State. She guided Troy State to the Mid-Continent Conference Championship in 1996, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Her career record is currently 300-148-2.