Belles sweep Opp, head to State

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 5, 2010

After competing in both the Sub-District and District Tournaments, the Troy Dixie Belles are not done yet.

This past weekend, the team traveled to Dothan where it participated in the District Tournament against Opp.

The two teams played twice, once on Friday and again on Saturday – both times resulting in a Troy win.

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Now, the team is headed to the next level in its mission to win a World Series but it was not after a tough game against Opp.

It took Troy nine innings to outlast Opp, and it won 5-4 thanks to 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 took care of Opp with ease Friday night, winning 14-3, but while it was still able to get the win on Saturday, Mehaffey said there might have been something else going on.

“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 and they were able to get refocused quickly.”

Madison Mehaffey and Stephanie Finlayson got things started off for Troy, thanks to each getting an RBI single in the first two innings, to give their team a 2-0 lead.

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.

Pitching for the Belles was Finlayson and Hartley.

After throwing seven innings, striking out eight in the process, Finlayson was taken out for Friday’s starter, Hartley, who pitched the final two-innings, striking out two four and getting the win for Troy.

“I was really proud to see the girls battle back the way they did,” the coach said.

“They really should what kind of a team they are – even though they got done, they never gave up and got the win.”

Now, the girls will prepare for their next test, which will take place in Midland on July 16 at the State Tournament.