Johnson joins 1,000 K club as Troy wins conference series

Published 11:17 am Monday, April 3, 2023

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Troy senior pitcher Leanna Johnson became just the second Trojan in school history to earn 1,000 career strikeouts as the softball team (25-9-1, 7-1-1) clinched a Sun Belt Conference series sweep on the road against Southern Miss this weekend.

A week prior, the Brantley native became Troy Softball’s all-time winningest pitcher and now she joins Ashlyn Williams as the only Trojans to ever surpass 1,000 career strikeouts. Williams sits atop Troy’s strikeout list with 1,305.

Troy started the weekend with a dominant 5-1 win over Southern Miss on Friday as Skipperville native Libby Baker went 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs and one run, while Kennedi Gaton also hit a home run in the win. D’Aun Riggs went 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple and one run, as well.

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Johnson pitched all seven innings and struck out six batters, while giving up two hits and one earned run.

In the second game, on Saturday, Troy took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never relinquished it, clinching the series win with a 3-0 shutout.

Anslee Finch led the way at the plate for Troy, going 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs and one run, while Riggs went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run. Taylor McKinney also hit a double in the win.

Olivia Cato picked up the win in the circle, striking out five batters, while giving up two hits and no runs. Johnson picked up her second save of the season and struck out the two batters needed to reach 1,000 Ks in her career, while giving up one hit and no runs in one and 2/3 innings pitched.
The Trojans completed the sweep with an 11-3 win over Southern Miss on Sunday in a game that was called in the fifth inning. McKinney had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, five RBIs and three runs. Gaton also hit a homer and Jade Sinness went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a run and two walks. Kelly Horne went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Johnson wrapped up the weekend with four strikeouts, while giving up three hits and no earned runs for her 19th win of the season.

Troy now sits in fourth place in the conference behind undefeated Marshall, Louisiana and South Alabama. McKinney’s nine home runs on the season ranks second in the Sun Belt, while her .755 slugging percentage and her 38 RBIs ranks third. Riggs also ranks third in triples on the season, while her 30 runs ranks sixth.

Johnson’s 19 wins leads the Sun Belt, while her 1.13 ERA ranks second and her 134 strikeouts ranks third. Audra Thompson’s nine double plays on defense also ranks fourth in the conference and Sinness is one of just two conference players to have a perfect fielding percentage with zero errors on the season.

The Trojans return home this weekend as their five-game winning streak will be on the line in a conference series against Coastal Carolina April 6-8.