Belles drop heartbreaker to Hartselle
In one night, the Troy Dixie Belles felt the thrills of a late-inning win and the agony of a devastating loss, all within a few hours of each other.
At the beginning of the tournament season, Troy made it its ultimate mission to win a World Series title.
However, just as the team appeared to be knocking on the door of a berth to Louisiana, they were locked out.
After taking defeating Hartselle on a walk-off base hit in game one, Troy got a taste of its own medicine as Hartselle won 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” Troy head coach Buddy Mehaffey said after the game. “I don’t know what to say, this was a real heart breaker.”
Troy took a 3-0 lead in the first inning but that would not stop its opponent from fighting back.
Hartselle got on the board in the bottom of the third inning, scoring two runs, one of which was earned, on Hartley.
Troy would respond with a run of their own when Madison Mehaffey led the fourth inning off with a double and Hartley brought her around to score with a single.
Hartselle would again cut into the Troy lead, this time scoring a run on Stephanie Mehaffey, to trail 4-3.
The score would remain the same until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Hartselle tied the game up against Finlayson on a throwing error by Hartley.
Both of the runs scored on Finlayson were unearned.
Troy did have its opportunities to score more runs.
In both the fourth and seventh inning, the Belles has the bases loaded, however, could not push a runner across the plate.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for Troy came in the bottom of the seventh inning.
After getting the second out of the inning, and with a runner advancing two second base, Hannah Fountain threw to second base however the ball got away from Hartley and rolled into left field, allowing Hartselle to score the inning run.
“The girls gave it all they had (Tuesday night),” the coach said. “But (Hartselle was a good team and played like a good team should play.”
“(This loss) is very disappointing, especially to be this close, but there is still so much to be proud of what this team was able to do – this was the best team I have ever coached,” Mehaffey added.
There were three Belles who were honored during the closing ceremonies for hitting home runs.
Fountain, Olivia Hudson and Victoria Outlaw, who hit two, all received their home run balls.