Jacksonville Daily Progress
Troup fell behind early, tied the game up in the fourth inning and then scored the winning run in the top of the seventh to drop Groveton, 2-1, in the opening game of a best-of-three Class 2A, Region II series Thursday night at the Palestine High School Softball Complex.
Game 2, in addition to a final contest, if needed, will also be played in Palestine, beginning at 6 p.m. this evening.
With the score tied 1-1, Lee Ann Lloyd led off the seventh by drawing a well-earned base on balls, Troup's only walk of the game, after digging in and hanging tough while fouling off a handful of pitches from the Lady Indians' pitcher, Jordyn Rogers.
“I was nervous when I went to the plate, but I just tried to stay focused on each pitch and once I got the walk I got excited because I knew the people batting behind me could get me home, and they did,” Lloyd said. “I knew how important it was for me to get on, since I was batting first in the inning.”
McKenzie Hugghins then dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt back to Rogers that advanced Lloyd to second.
Freshman Dusty Neely stepped up to the plate and hit a hard shot back to the Lady Indian short stop, with Neely able to get aboard when the throw bounced in the dirt in front of the Groveton (24-8) first baseman.
More importantly, Lloyd was able to race in from second and score what turned out to be the winning run.
“Lee Ann's walk in that situation was huge because it gave us a base runner with no outs and that is the opportunity that we look for in every game,” Troup head softball coach, Sam Weeks, said.
Groveton scored first, plating a run in the bottom of the second, with Troup (19-12) coming back to tie things up in the fourth.
Josee Ross hit a one-out single deep into the gap in left, was sacrificed over to second by Miranda Flora and came in to score on an infield error on a ball that came off of Lloyd's bat.
The Lady Indians committed three miscues in the game to one by Troup.
Even though Ross struck out 18 batters, the Lady Indians were able to out hit the Lady Tigers, 3-2.
Kayla Arrendell had two of Groveton's hits, including a double.
Flora singled in the second to account for the Lady Tigers' remaining hit.
Ross picked up the win in the circle, while Rogers took the pitching loss for Groveton. Both hurlers went the distance.
“Groveton has a real good team,” Weeks, said. “We didn't hit the ball as well as I would have liked us to, but we'll go back and make some adjustments and hopefully do better (in Game 2).”
NOTE: Bethany Mason had the defensive play of the game when she ran several yards to her left from her shortstop position and made an off-balanced leaping catch to rob Groveton's Kayce Moore of a base hit in the fifth inning.