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Belles take out Opp, advance to State

While the Troy Dixie Belles were able to cruise to an easy victory over Opp Friday night in the District Tournament, it was not the case when the two teams met again on Saturday.

Though the team did win, and clinch a berth to the State Tournament in the process, it had to do so in extra inning, as Troy won 5-4 in the ninth inning off a Mary Starling walk off walk.

“It was a tough game for us,” Belles’ head coach Buddy Mehaffey said Saturday night.

“Opp played really good ball all game long. But we were able to battle back and win the game.”

Troy started the game off the same way it finished Friday’s game, by scoring runs.

In the first and second inning, Madison Mehaffey and Stephanie Finlayson both had RBI single to give Troy a 2-0.

The score would remain the same until the sixth inning when Opp’s bats came alive.

In the top half of the inning, Opp scored four runs to take a 4-2 lead.

However, it would be a short-lived lead as Becca Hartley came through for Troy with a two-RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game up.

The score would remain tied for the next two innings, until Troy was able to load the bases in the ninth, and Starling was able to force a bases loaded to bring in Mehaffey and give Troy the win.

“We may have taken Opp for granted a little bit coming into (Saturday’s game),” the coach said.

“But the girls learned pretty quickly that they can’t do that in tournaments.

“I was really proud to see the girls battle back in this game and get the win though,” Mehaffey said.

Finlayson started the game for Troy in the pitcher’s circle, throwing seven innings and striking out eight.

Hartley came in in relief and got the win, pitching the eighth and ninth inning, while striking out four.

The Belles will be back in action in the State Tournament, which will begin on July 16 in Midland City