Troy softball hits the road again

Published 6:45 am Friday, March 9, 2012

There’s little room for argument that the Troy Trojans softball team has been a dominating force this season.

The team not only has a 16-2 record, the best start to a season in the program’s history, but they have swept two of the four tournaments they have played most recently taking five straight wins at the Red and Blue Classic at Ole Miss.

The Trojans only have one more obstacle ahead of them before they kick off Sun Belt play on March 14, the Purple and Gold Challenge at LSU.

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The Purple and Gold tournament will see the Trojans playing four games against two teams, Mississippi Valley State University and SEC heavyweight LSU.

“We have a couple of solid opponents this weekend,” Trojans head coach Melanie Davis said. “Mississippi Valley has been to their regionals several times and LSU is always a strong program so we’ve got 4 very challenging games. Our approach is going to be the same as always we’ve got to go out and put together a complete performance.”

The LSU Tigers are 11-7 this season and will be the second SEC opponent the Trojans have faced after Ole Miss, while MVSU comes into the weekend 9-9 hoping to add to their current five game winning streak.

The Trojans have a challenge ahead of them in their final non-conference tourney, but bring a host of weapons in to continue their tournament dominance.

On the mound the Trojans have freshman Ashley Rainey, who has already been named Sun Belt pitcher of the week twice and allowed only three hits over 17.2 innings on two starts in the Red and Blue Classic, and is joined by Jaycee Affeldt and Sarah Thomas.

“The good thing about our pitching is that we’ve got three solid players,” Davis said. “If one has a pitch that may not be working we can get another in. All three are good at keeping their egos in check and are able to make changes. It’s been really effective so far to have all three to call on in a game situation.”

The Trojan offense has shut out its last two opponents by a combined 14 runs and with players like senior Michelle Hewett, who carries a 12-game hitting streak, it can be expected the team will find its way on base.

But what coach Davis is most proud of is the team’s overall depth, which allows them to avoid the trapping of relying on a set group of players.

The Trojans will open the tournament with a match against LSU on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Trojans will return on Saturday for a two-game set against MVSU and LSU starting before finishing on Sunday with a final match against MVSU.