Troy Belles fall at State Tournament in Midland City
MIDLAND CITY — The Troy Dixie Belles needed two wins against Hartselle for a state title and a berth in to the World Series.
The team took the first step to those goals thanks to a victory over Hartselle in game one, but lost the championship game 5-4.
In a game that saw three lead changes, Troy was able to hold and outlast the previously undefeated Hartselle, 5-4.
“We were able to hold on,” head coach Buddy Mehaffey said after the game one win.
“Everyone did their part and that was a big reason why we were able to get the win.”
Becca Hartley took the pitcher’s circle for Troy to start that game, and like she has done throughout the state tournament, she pitched a dominate performance, retiring the first six batters she faced.
Hartley did run into some trouble in the third inning when Hartselle scored two runs, one of which was unearned due to a Hartley throwing error.
Troy would pick their pitcher back up in the bottom half of the inning however.
After Mary Margaret Starling reached base on an error, Victoria Outlaw advanced her to third base thanks to a standing double.
Stephanie Finlayson tied the game with a two-run triple at batter later.
An Aliyah Holland would give Troy the lead with a single up the middle, bringing home Finlayson.
In the following inning, Hartley hit a double, and Olivia Hudson would make it a 4-2 game with an RBI single two batters later.
The score would remain the same until the top of the fifth inning, when Hartselle cut the lead to just one after Finlayson gave up multiple hits.
The visiting team would tie the game an inning later against the Troy pitcher.
That just set the stage for some late-inning magic for the team from Troy.
After two consecutive base hits by Amberlyn Baker and Madison Mehaffey, and a Hartley walk, Rachel Senn came to the plate, and delivered in a big way with a single up the middle that brought in the winning run — and sent Troy to one last game against Hartselle.
“I’m proud of how the girls were able to fight their way through adversity,” the coach said.
“They did a good job of getting things done. I thought everyone pitched well, fielded well and we got the big hits when we needed them.”
Harftley pitched three innings, striking out one, while giving up two hits.
In relief, Stephanie Finlayson threw three innings, giving up six hits and two runs, while her sister, Kristen, pitched the final-inning, giving up one hit and striking out one in the victory. Stephanie Finlyason led the way for Troy finishing 1-1 with two RBIs, while Aliyah Holland and Hudson finished 1-2 with am RBI.