Troy Belles win first round of district

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 3, 2004

The Troy Belles proved once more that they do not plan to give up their state title without a fight, defeating Rehobeth 14-4 Friday night in Dothan.

Although the score doesn't indicate it, the game was actually close until the girls broke out the big bats in the fifth inning.

In fact, as the Troy Belles stepped to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, they were already behind3-0.

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"We started out like we were nervous and I think most of the girls were," head coach Paul Gilbert said.

But, the girls took a moment and realized quickly that they had nothing to fear.

With runs from Ashton Ingram, Emily Gilbert, Courtney Hester and Brooke Sessions, Troy not only tied Rehobeth, but took the lead.

"I think the biggest part of the game was answering Rehobeth's three runs with four of our own," Gilbert said.

In the second and third innings, a strong Troy defense held Rehobeth scoreless, while the offense added to the score.

In the bottom of the third, Kasey Hayes hit a double to send Hester home for Troy. Then Erica Henderson stepped to the plate for a fielder's choice to score Sessions and give Troy a 6-3 lead.

Troy allowed Rehobeth one final run in the fourth before shutting down their offense completely thanks to defense.

Andi Messick also had a strong pitching performance for Troy.

"Andi Messick did an outstanding job for us," assistant coach Kenneth Carter said.

Messick pitched the last three innings for Troy after Bobbie Jo Strother finished the first two for Troy.

"Both girls did a good job on the mound for us," Gilbert said.

In the bottom of the fourth, Gilbert hit a single to left field to score Ingram for the seventh Troy run of the game.

Although Troy increased its lead inch by inch early on, the bats busted out in the fifth inning. Troy scored seven runs and ended the game early with the 10-run rule.

Keyani Foster, Strother, Ingram, Gilbert, Kasee Carter, Hester and Sessions all scored runs in the fifth inning for the Troy victory.

The Belles' win gave them a bye in the next round. They will play again Monday night in Dothan at 8 p.m. The winner of the Dothan Red and Dothan Blue game determined who would face Andalusia Saturday. The winner of that game will be Troy's opponent Monday night.

Jennifer Lett can be reached at