Troy Softball to host No. 25 Texas State in weekend series

Published 10:24 am Thursday, March 16, 2023

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The Troy Trojans softball team will host No. 25-ranked Texas State for a three-game series this weekend as Sun Belt Conference play begins.

Both Troy and Texas State come into the conference opening series on a hot streak as Troy has won nine of its last 10 games, including a four-game sweep over Army, Northern Kentucky and North Florida last weekend. Texas State, on the other hand, is coming off back-to-back Top 10 victories over both Alabama (No. 9) and Texas (No. 10) last week.

Along with a showdown with a Top 25 program, Troy senior pitcher Leanna Johnson comes into the series on the verge of making history. The Brantley native just needs two wins to become Troy Softball’s all-time leader and she’s just 24 total strikeouts away from reaching the 1,000-strikeout mark. Former star Ashlyn Williams holds the school record of 1,305 career strikeouts, while Johnson already owns the school record for shutouts.

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Johnson comes into the weekend leading the country with 15 wins in the circle and as the country’s active leader in innings pitched, games started, appearances and wins regardless of division.

Texas State also features a star pitcher of its own in Preseason Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Jessica Mullins, who holds an 11-5 record this season with a 1.33 ERA. Mullins and Johnson led the Sun Belt in strikeouts last season and Johnson currently ranks second in the conference, while Mullins is ranked sixth. Johnson also has the top ERA in the conference, while Mullins ranks third.

Troy sophomore Taylor McKinney also comes into the weekend as one of the Trojans’ top hitters, boasting a .384 batting average with three triples and six home runs this season. McKinney’s home runs rank second in the Sun Belt, while her 22 RBIs also rank four in the conference. Texas State’s Baker Emilee ranks third in the Sun Belt with a .474 batting average.

Originally, the series was scheduled to take place Friday-Sunday but due to the threat of inclement weather on Friday, the series will now take place on Saturday and Sunday instead. The two sides will meet in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 18, starting at noon followed by a third game on March 19 at noon. All three games will stream on ESPN+.