TROY, Ala. – Keelie Housley and Hannah Renn delivered grand slams on Thursday as the Trojans outslugged FIU 14-9 on Thursday afternoon at the Sun Belt Softball Championships.
Housley, who finished 3-for-4 with a career-high five RBIs in the win, put Troy in the lead in the bottom of the first after the Trojans fell behind 3-0 early. With the bases loaded after a pair of walks and an infield single by
Bailey Blake, the freshman belted her first career grand slam off of FIU starter Corinne Jenkins, who lasted just 0.1 of an inning, to give the Trojans a 4-3 lead.
FIU retook the lead quickly with one swing of the bat in the top of the second as Amber Curry drilled a three-run blast to center field to give the Panthers a 6-4 lead which spelled the end of the day for Troy starter Rachel Rigney. Troy turned to Jaycee Affeldt out of the bullpen and the sophomore worked out of a bases-loaded jam to hold FIU to three runs in the frame.
In the bottom half of the second, Renn’s line drive grand slam off of FIU reliever Shelby Graves put Troy in the lead for good as the senior’s first career bases-loaded jack put Troy up 8-6 in the second. Renn, the Second-Team All-Sun Belt Catcher, finished 2-for-2 with three runs scored and four RBIs.
Despite being out-hit by the Panthers, Troy’s offense scored 14 runs over its first five at-bats off of three different FIU pitchers. The 14 runs scored by the Trojans are the most in Sun Belt Conference Tournament game by Troy as well as the most against a Sun Belt opponent this season.
The Trojans also took advantage of perfect defense and did not commit an error in the win, while the Panthers were charged with four errors which led to two Troy runs scoring in the fourth inning.
Affeldt earned the win in relief, tossing four innings, three runs on eight hits, while issuing six walks and striking out three. The sophomore held the Panthers off the scoreboard during her first three innings of work to allow
Troy to pad its lead. Affeldt helped herself at the plate as well, adding an RBI single in a 1-for-3 day at the plate with a run scored. Michaela Hamilton worked the final two innings for Troy and gave up just one hit to close out the game.
Six of Troy’s nine starters recorded a hit in the five-run win. Blake finished 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and two runs scored. Kacie McAllister was 1-for-3 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Taylor Smartt added an RBI double in the third inning and scored a run. Amanda Winters executed an squeeze bunt in the fifth inning to pick up an RBI. Caitlin Ortiz extended her reached base streak to 28 games in the fourth inning after she was hit by a pitch.
Graves was saddled for the loss for FIU in relief, allowing six runs off of five hits in 1.2 innings of work. Mariah Dawson threw the final four innings for the Panthers, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out four.
Troy faces the loser of the WKU/North Texas game in an elimination contest tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. at the Troy Softball Complex. Check back with TroyTrojans.com and SunBeltSports.org for the latest from the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
For more information on Troy Athletics, be sure to visit TroyTrojans.com. Fans can find Troy on Twitter at @TroyAthletics or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TroyAthletics. For in-game updates from the diamond, follow Troy Softball on Twitter at @TroySBall.