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Troup's Josee Ross is pictured in action during Friday's 8-2 win playoff-opening victory over Jefferson. Ross struck out 14 in the game to earn the win in the circle. Troup opens a Class 2A,Region III area series against Groveton beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at Palestine High School.

There's an old saying in the world of sports regarding how the numbers never lie.

For Josee Ross, the Troup Lady Tigers' pitching phenom, her statistics in no way portray how difficult the season has been for the hard-throwing righty.

Ross, who struck out 14 batters in her team's 8-2 bi-district win over Jefferson last Friday night, and the rest of the Lady Tigers will continue down the playoff trails at 7 p.m. Thursday when they take on Groveton in Game 1 of a best-of-three series.

Game 2 will be at the same time Friday and if a third contest is necessary, it will start at 11 a.m. Saturday, with all games taking place at Palestine High School.

Ross was unable to pitch for a stretch very early on in the season at which time she gave up the starting duties for 10 games due to a shoulder injury.

Looking at Ross' stat line for the current season, one would be hard pressed to tell that anything had been wrong with Ross.

After all, her 1.17 earned run average is actually a tad bit better than last year's 1.22 ERA.

During the current campaign she has fanned 1.79 opposing hitters per inning — last season Ross rang up, on average, of 1.38 batters per nine frames.

“This season has been different for me; a struggle (physically)” Ross said with candor following the win over Jefferson.

“The pain in my shoulder has caused me to be not as good as I would have liked to have been for most of the season.”

Ross said that this was the first time that she had incurred a prolonged injury and that she had been asking for a lot of help from The Man Upstairs.

“I have been praying to the dear Lord that my should wouldn't fall off,” Ross said.

Well, those prayers seemed to have been answered, as Ross, who stated that she has been feeling better lately, has posted a record of 15-4 this year, has struck out 213 and has given up just 62 hits in 119 innings of work.


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