Trojans head to Miami, Fla.

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Troy Trojans softball team has opened the 2008-09 Sun Belt season on a tear by winning its first six games in conference.

The Trojans (23-6, 6-0 Sun Belt) open up a three-game series with Florida International University tomorrow in Miami, Fla. FIU (16-17, 0-3) has not won a conference game and sit at the bottom of the Sun Belt standings with two of Troy’s previous three opponents. Troy swept its opening conference series from Middle Tennessee (5-15, 0-3) and took one game from South Alabama (12-15-1, 0-3) Tuesday.

But Troy head coach Melanie Davis said FIU is not a team to take lightly.

“We have yet to face any of the teams picked at the top in the preseason conference standings, but if we continue to play solidly we will be fine when we face those teams,” Davis said. “And we know that FIU had one of the strongest offensive teams last year and we know they will be a big challenge for us because they have several different pitchers that we have to prepare for.”

Davis said Troy pitchers Ashlyn Williams and Alison Moore will have to keep the Golden Panthers off balance all weekend.

“Pitching is no doubt one of our strengths,” Davis said. “With Ashlyn making preseason all-conference that shows how good she is and Allison is a very solid No. 2 pitcher for us. They both have different styles, so they can set each other up perfectly in save situations.”

The Trojans’ offense has enough firepower to complement the pitching this year and Davis said that has helped the Trojans keep opponents to an average of about one run per game while they compile an average of about 10 hits per game at the plate.

“In the past our pitchers have had to shut the other team completely down if we wanted to win, but this year we have shown that we are able to score runs and give our pitchers that comfort zone they need to do well on the mound,” Davis said.

Davis said the Trojans have been able to get off to a hot start because of the great team chemistry in the Trojan dugout.

“I had made this statement in the fall and last year that we have a great group of girls from top to bottom that are as unselfish as a team can be,” Davis said. “And that unselfishness contributes to the energy in the dugout. I think that unselfishness will help us when we get to the tough games or the tough situations in the future.”

First pitch for the Saturday doubleheader is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the Sunday game will begin at 1 p.m.