Troy Belles stay alive in tourney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2003

A funny thing happened on the way back from the emergency room:

"Well, I heard the catcher got hurt and everything fell apart," a police officer told Troy Dixie Belles' head coach Trudy Garner at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

Garner and her husband had just returned from taking their daughter Lindsey to Edge Regional Medical Center for examination.

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Lindsey's throwing hand was struck by a foul ball on Tuesday

night behind the plate during Troy's contest


unbeaten Sand Mountain.

Subsequently, Lindsey left the game and Troy fell apart, committing a number of errors as

Sand Mountain

ran away with it, 9-1.

"We're a team," said Garner. "When one of us gets hurt it effects all of us."

On Wednesday night, Lindsey was back and so was Troy's composure.

Troy fought off a late rally by Montgomery Gray to win 6-5, advancing to face the loser of Wednesday's

late contest between Demopolis

and Sand Mountain in the Dixie Belles State Tournament at the Sportsplex.

Troy scored two runs in the opening inning of play as Eden Harris led off with a single and scored the first run. Heather Snell took the first of four walks during the game that same inning and came

around to score as well.

Montgomery sliced the lead to one run with a Richardson RBI in the fourth, but Troy added two more runs in their half of the inning as Lindsey grounded a runner home and Megan Johnson took a bases loaded walk.

Starting pitcher Heather West pinned Montgomery down at home plate in the first three innings, allowing Troy to build a 4-1 advantage going into the fifth inning.

Her defense helped her out.

At first base, Whitney Johnson dove far into foul territory to catch a hit off the bat of Montgomery's Ashley Vinson for an out.

In center field, Eden Stamey robbed Lisa Lejeune of a sure basehit when she hawked down a ball hit off Johnson in the fourth.

Troy tallied just one error during the game and forced Montgomery Gray to earn their runs.

To their credit, Montgomery did just that.

The District 5 champions knocked out five straight hits against

Johnson in the top of the sixth and tied the game up at 5-5. Katie Lockwood started the streak with a RBI single. Sarah Ginther tripled in two more runs with a hit between left-center. Sarah Swedenburg added another basehit

RBI before Johnson induced Lejeune into a ground out at first.

But Lindsey delivered for Troy in the sixth. She reached base with a single,

advanced to second on a pass ball and stole third base. Stamey

put the ball in play and brought her teammate home for what proved to be the winning run.

Montgomery managed two base runners in the seventh, but Ginther's ground out to Autumn Welch at first ended the game.

Lindsey had two hits and a RBI to lead Troy on the night. Harris and Johnson each added singles, as did Emily Gilbert.