Troy knocks off No. 25 Texas State in conference series

Published 10:34 am Monday, March 20, 2023

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The Troy Trojans softball team (20-7-1, 2-0-1) earned a 2-0-1 series win over the No. 25-ranked Texas State Bobcats this weekend in the opening of Sun Belt Conference play.

Texas State was coming off a pair of Top 10 wins over Alabama and Texas coming into the weekend but it was all Trojans in this series.

Troy opened the weekend by sweeping Texas State in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 18, capturing the first game 7-6. The two sides went into the fifth inning tied 5-5 when Skipperville native Libby Baker belted a two-run home run to put Troy up 7-5. Texas State managed to cut the lead to 7-6 in the seventh inning but the Trojan defense earned three straight outs after a home run to capture the conference win.

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Baker went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs and a run, while D’Aun Riggs went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run. Kennedi Gaton also went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and a run in the win, while Anslee Finch scored two runs.

Leanna Johnson earned her 16th win of the season in the circle, mowing down nine batters, while giving up seven hits and four earned runs in seven innings pitched.

In game two, Troy went into the fifth inning trailing 3-0 but Finch hit an RBI single that drove Riggs home to get Troy on the board. The sixth inning, though, is when the Trojans took control. Riggs drove both Natalie Turner and Jade Sinness home with an RBI single into center field and then Taylor McKinney belted a three-run home run that drove both Riggs and Gaton home to secure a 6-3 Troy win.

Sinness earned a double, while Riggs scored two runs and McKinney earned her seventh home run of the season. A trio of Trojans hit the circle in game two. Olivia Cato pitched four and 1/3 innings and struck out three batters, while giving up six hits and two earned runs. Brookelyn Cannon captured her first win of the season as she struck out a pair of batters and gave up no hits or runs in one and 2/3 innings. Johnson pitched one inning and earned her second save of the year, allowing no hits or runs.

In the series finale on Sunday, Troy and Texas State battled to a 2-2 tie. Despite the game being a conference matchup, it was called due to Texas State’s travel plans meaning no inning could start after 2:15 p.m.

Troy trailed 1-0 going into the fourth inning but Gaton blasted a two-run homer that also drove Audra Thompson home to give the Trojans a 2-1 lead. Texas State tied the score in the fifth inning but neither side was able to get back into scoring position, leading to the tie.

McKinney and Riggs both went 2-for-4 at the plate for Troy with Riggs earning a double. Johnson pitched another complete game, striking out three batters and giving up eight hits and two earned runs in seven innings pitched. Katelynn de Leon and Gaton had one double play in the win.

Troy takes a break from conference play this Wednesday, March 22, for a game with the ACC’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 6 p.m.