Hot start to season doesn’t satisfy Trojans softball

Published 11:02 pm Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It’s been a successful season for the Troy Trojans softball team so far, and now they can add in another honor to their 11-2 record with junior catcher Hannah Renn being named Sun Belt Player of the Week.

Renn marks the second time this season a Trojan has received Sun Belt honors after freshman Ashley Rainey took pitcher of the week earlier in the season, and currently has the highest batting average on the team at .375 with four home runs.

“She’s really seeing the ball well and has done an excellent job,” Trojans head coach Melanie Davis said. “She’s a great offensive tool for us. She can steal bases and hit home runs which is a hard combo to find. Honors in Sun Belt play are hard to come we’ve got really good teams like Louisiana Lafayette so it speaks well to the caliber of signees we’ve had lately.”

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Although Renn may be the team’s highlight player she’s only one part of a Trojan squad that has been strong throughout the season, posting a five game win streak to open the year and losing only to Missouri and Purdue.

“A lot of factors have contributed to our good start,” Davis said. “The entire team has had good work ethic all season and we’ve worked really hard on the offensive parts of our game which has been paying dividends for us.”

Though the Trojans have assembled a solid roster this season, there are still rough patches to iron out before the start of conference play later in March.

Most notably is the team’s defense, which has been a bit inconsistent and will play a key role when the conference records start to add up.

“Our defense has been the question mark,” Davis said. “We can make good plays and be steady but then turn around and make back-to-back errors. We’ve got to limit those errors and make better decisions as the game unfolds. We had a game with seven errors and when you can do that and still win it speaks volumes but you can’t hope to do that very often.”

The Trojans will be going back on the road for the Red and Blue Classic hosted by Ole Miss on Friday, March 2, where they will face SEC foes Ole Miss.

After Ole Miss the team has only one more tournament, where they stand to face LSU twice, after which they will open the Sun Belt season with a double header against Louisiana Monroe on March 14.

But all that tournament play can only help the Trojans, who are looking to use that non-conference experience to extend their success into the Sun Belt, particularly on the mound.

“Our pitching staff has had to play some good hitting teams,” Davis said. “Our players have been following the game plan set by our coaches and hopefully our mental approach to hitting will stay strong.”

The Trojans will open the Red and Blue Classic on Friday against Belmont University at 10 a.m. at the University of Mississippi.