Softball: Trojans host Troy Invitational

Published 9:44 am Monday, February 20, 2023

The Troy Trojans (6-3) wrapped up another home series this weekend, finishing 4-1 in the Troy Softball Invitational alongside Kennesaw State and Murray State.

On day one, Feb. 17, Troy bested Kennesaw State by a score of 6-1 and wrapped up the doubleheader with a 4-2 win over Murray State later that day. Against Kennesaw State, Troy scored six runs in the first three innings to run away with the win. Skipperville native Libby Baker led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-3, while Jade Sinness earned her first home run of the season. Taylor McKinney also went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run. D’Aun Riggs, Sinness, Emma Grace Walker, Jaida McCord and Brantley native Kayden Dunn each scored one run.

Baker got the win in the circle, pitching four and 2/3 innings with six strikeouts, while giving up four hits and one earned run. Florida transfer Haley Pittman pitched two and 1/3 innings and mowed down three batters, while giving up two hits and no runs. Catcher Katelynn de Leon earned 10 putouts and Dunn tallied six putouts.

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In game two, Troy fell behind 2-0 in the second inning but scored four unanswered runs to secure the win. Anslee Finch went 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs and one run, while Sinness went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run. McKinney also went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Brantley’s Leanna Johnson pitched all seven innings and struck out 12 batters, while giving up eight hits and two earned runs. At catcher, de Leon earned 11 putouts and one assist.

Troy also swept day two, besting Murray State 6-0 in the first game and knocking off Kennesaw State 7-2 in the second game. Audra Thompson went 3-for-3 against Murray State with a pair of doubles, one RBI and two runs, while Finch went 2-for-3 with two triples and a run. Natalie Turner also earned two stolen bases.

Olivia Cato got the win in the circle, pitching four innings with one strikeout. She gave up just one hit and no earned runs. Baker pitched two innings and struck out a batter, while giving up two hits and no runs. Thompson tallied four putouts, one double play and three assists on defense.

Against Kennesaw State, Troy jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and stretched the lead to 7-0 in the fourth inning. Kennesaw State scored their only two runs in the fifth. McKinney had another big afternoon, going 3-for-3 at the plate with a homer, two RBIs and a run. Riggs went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and two runs, while Baker, Kelly Horne and Thompson each earned one double.

Johnson got her second win of the weekend in the circle, striking out seven batters, while giving up four hits and no earned runs in six innings pitched. Pittman pitched one inning and struck out a batter, while giving up one hit and no runs. Enterprise’s Emma Faulk earned three putouts at catcher, while de Leon tallied five putouts.

Troy’s only loss of the weekend came in a 1-0 loss to Kennesaw State on Feb. 19, the final game of the series. With both teams scoreless going into the fifth inning, Kennesaw’s Kiera Cooper hit a solo home run that would end up being the game-winning run as Troy wasn’t able to score for the remainder of the contest.

Troy earned a season-low three hits on the afternoon as Riggs, Sinness and Finch tallied one hit each. Cato pitched five and 2/3 innings, giving up just three hits and one earned run, while striking out four batters. Baker pitched one and 1/3 inning and struck out two batters and giving up just one hit and no runs.

McKinney finished the weekend 8-for-13 at the plate with a home run, a double, five RBIs and three runs. Johnson pitched 13 innings and struck out 19 batters, while giving up 12 hits and two earned runs. Defensively, de Leon earned 37 putouts, one double play and one assist at catcher.

Troy hits the road for the first time this season on Feb. 22 at Mercer before traveling to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete in the Unconquered Invitational this coming weekend against Florida Gulf Coast, Lamar College and Florida State.