Troy Dixie Belles fall to Ashford at state tournament

Published 10:13 pm Monday, July 14, 2014

ENTERPRISE — The Troy Belles impressive win streak came to an abrupt end under a berating summertime sun Monday afternoon.

Troy, which had reeled off 10 consecutive wins, including clean sweeps of the Sub-District and District Tournaments, came up on the short end of a 14-10 decision to Ashford at the Alabama Dixie Belles State Tournament in Enterprise.

“We just started to slow,” said Troy head coach Larry Sanders. “It is hard to come back and win a game when you let a team get up 11-2. We had our chances and we let a few of them get away. All we can do now is come back tomorrow and keep winning.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Ashford made the most of its early opportunities, as it took advantage of a multitude of Troy mistakes, to hold an 11-2 lead in the fourth.

However, Troy would get up off the deck in the bottom of the inning, and plate seven runs. The rally inning began with pair a singles from Molly Kate Sanders and Hannah Calhoun. The next three Troy batters – Sidney Armstrong, Kelsey Gibson and Lexie Motes – each hit un-scoring doubles. Armstrong’s shot down the brought home two RBIs.

Motes, Danielle Brown and Tucker Earles would also score in the inning.

Troy’s final run of the game came in the fifth as Gibson drilled her second double of the day to left center bringing in Calhoun.

“The girls never quit, which is a pretty nice thing to see,” Sanders said. “If we don’t make one or two of the mistakes we made, then we probably won’t lose this game. Ashford’s a good team, and you can’t give a good team extra chances. We did, and we got beat.”

Gibson’s big day led Troy at the plate. She finished the afternoon going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.

Molly Kate Sanders, Calhoun and Sydni Garrett each spent time in the pitching circle for Troy.

The three remaining teams – Ashford, Troy and Sweet Water – are tied with one loss each. Sweet Water received a bye to the championship game, meaning Troy and Ashford will meet once again Tuesday morning to decide the final paring.

First pitch is slated for 10 a.m.

“Ashford wanted to beat us, and now they have,” Sanders said. “We now get to return the favor tomorrow. If we don’t make mistakes and keep hitting the ball like we have, I like our chances.”