Softball opens up home schedule with classic

Published 11:09 pm Thursday, February 17, 2011

After a successful first weekend of the season in Birmingham, the Troy Trojans softball team will be back in action this weekend in the friendly confines of Troy Softball Complex.

One deck for the Trojans in the Quality Inn Classic will be four schools Bradley, Central Arkansas, North Florida and Samford.

Troy will be the only team entering the tournament with a winning record at 3-2, while the other four teams have combined to win just three games so far in the early season.

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Despite their current records, Trojan head coach Melanie Davis knows each team will present a challenge in their own way over the three day span.

“We have a good field of four quality teams coming in this weekend,” Davis said.

“They are all good mid-major programs that will help us in our overall strength of schedule. They are all going to be a challenge.”

First off for the Trojans will be Central Arkansas, who is 1-4, on Friday at 4 p.m. One factor that will be hurting Troy over the weekend will be the absence of senior pitcher, Ashlyn Williams.

Williams will miss the tournament after undergoing minor surgery and will be out for 7-10 days.

The senior threw two complete games last week, for a 1-1 record, striking out 23 combined batters.

“She was picked as Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year, so that tells you it’s going to be a big loss for us,” Davis said.

“The rest of our staff is going to have to step up. We are going to need to get some good run support and our defense is going to have to play a little bit better then it did last weekend if we want to be successful this weekend.”

The Trojans will see in-state rival Samford twice this weekend, first on Saturday and then again the following day.

The two teams have met 46 times before, with Troy winning all but 10 of those meetings.

“I think getting back home and playing some games here is going to do a lot for the girl’s confidence and comfort level,” Davis said.

“Over my tenor at Troy, we have always played well at Troy with the great crowd support and kids being able to be in their own places. We have always done well at home and hopefully with great weather conditions, and fan support, that trend will continue.”