In the midst of all the errant throws and defeats, Troup High is making good use of the game time.
The Lady Tigers are getting better at the plate. The strikeouts are down. The contact is up. The bats are ringing, and Troup is spraying the ball around the softball complex.
Just one week ago, Troup High struck out 22 times and was no hit in a 7-0 loss to Central Carrollton. Seven days later the Lady Tigers came back with five hits against the top-ranked Chapel Hill Lady Panthers on Tuesday night at Troup High.
“We’re getting hits, and we’re getting runners on,” said Lady Tiger sophomore third baseman Madison McCartney. “We’re crowding the plate, and we’re getting mentally prepared. And this is one of the top regions in the state.”
In Region 5-AAAA there is an endless supply of hard throwers. There are also some free swingers. They are the kind of hitters that enter the batter’s box with an idea, a plan.
Kinley Stanford, the senior first baseman for Troup, is one of those type of hitters. She had an infield single in the second inning against Chapel Hill. The red-headed contact hitter, Stanford, also slapped a single to left field in the seventh inning.
“We had some good hits, and we took some good swings. We were familiar with the speed (on the ball),” said Stanford.
Against the No. 1-ranked Lady Panthers, Troup also got two hits from McCartney with a single to center field in the second inning and a two-out base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Troup High senior Chandler Pritchett also ripped a single to center field in the seventh inning. Abby Taylor and Maddie Weathers of Troup took some hacks as well. Both girls hit long fly ball outs in the sixth inning.
Taylor’s drive to left field was a 150-foot shot. Chapel Hill had a few hits, too, 12 of them. Junior shortstop Savannah Sikes led the Lady Panthers with four hits (three singles and a double).
Chapel Hill also got a three-hit game from freshman second baseman Taylor Middlebrooks. She had an RBI single in the second, a double to left field in the fourth and a home run to left field in the top of the seventh.
“Our team sticks together, and we have a lot of positivity,” said Middlebrooks.
Five more Chapel Hill girls chipped in one hit each, all singles, from sophomore pitcher Kira Morgan, Isis Taylor, senior Bella Caricari, sophomore third baseman Paige Vincent and senior Jordan Sauls. The Lady Panthers won the Class AAAAA state softball championship last season.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer