Troy softball drops tourney opener to South Alabama, 5-1

Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coming into Wednesday’s first round contest, Troy knew what kind of challenge South Alabama posed. The Trojans were just hoping for a more competitive game.

South Alabama downed the Trojans 5-1 at the Troy Softball Complex sending Troy to an elimination game against Florida International today at 12:30 p.m.

The Jaguars sent First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Hannah Campbell to the circle and she turned in a gem. In seven innings of work on Wednesday, Campbell allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out five. Campbell is tied for tops in the NCAA with an ERA of 0.94.

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Troy (20-31) fell behind early as starter Michaela Hamilton surrendered back-to-back singles with two outs in the bottom of the first. Kaitlyn Griffith then launched a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right field to put the Jaguars on top 3-0.

“I think our kids did a great job of battling especially after the three-run home run,” Troy head coach Melanie Davis said. “We knew we were facing a really good team, an in-state rival that’s having a really good year. I was really proud of how they battled.”

South Alabama (42-7) would add to their lead with a pair of run in the third.

Troy’s Caitlin Ortiz walked to lead off the top of the fourth. Two batters later, Rachel Rigney singled before Taylor Smartt singled to score Ortiz and plate the Trojans only run of the game.

Rigney was 2-for-3 on the night. Smartt, Bailey Blake and Keelie Housley had Troy other hits. The Trojans would finish with five hits and left six runners on base.

Hamilton lasted just two innings before being replaced by Jaycee Affeldt who pitched four innings allowing one runs on five hits.

“I was proud of the way especially Jaycee played. Coming in and giving us the quality inning that she did really gave us a chance to hang in there,” said Davis.

Troy will face Florida International, who fell in extra innings to Louisiana-Lafayette 8-7. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. The loser is eliminated while the winner plays Friday at 12:30 p.m.