TROY, Ala. – The Troy softball team shut out Evansville in its first game at the Troy Subway Invitational, but took a tough loss in Friday’s final game against North Florida.
The Trojans (3-3) only scattered four hits, but used the long ball against the Purple Aces as Amanda Winters and Brittany Russ both hit two-run homers in Troy’s 5-0 win over Evansville.
Winters blasted her first career home run in the bottom of the third inning, while Russ belted her first career shot with deep shot down the left field line.
Rachel Rigney (2-1) turned in her second straight complete as she picked up her first shutout of her career by tossing a two-hitter against Evansville. The freshman’s no-hit bid was snapped in the top of the sixth inning with a one-out single by Evansville’s Kayla Fortner.
In the top of the seventh, Rigney worked out of a bases-loaded jam to pick up the final two outs to earn the shutout of the year by a Troy pitcher. The Alabaster, Ala., native struck out a career-high five in the win.
In the nightcap, Troy fell to North Florida, 3-2, as the Trojans made three errors over the final three innings and Sarah Thomas (0-1) took the hard luck loss, despite throwing her first complete game and not allowing an earned run.
The sophomore struck out five batters and allowed just three hits in the longest outing of her career. Thomas picked up 14 ground ball outs to just two fly outs and allowed did not allow a walk in a start for the first time in her career.
Troy took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with a one-out RBI single up the middle from Winters that scored Kacie McAllister and Chandler Griffin.
But, the Ospreys took advantage of two Troy errors and a passed ball to retake the lead in the top of the seventh. With one out in the seventh, the Ospreys hit a sharp ground ball to Griffin at third. The freshman picked up the second out by stepping on third base, but a high throw to first base allowed UNF’s Danica Mandarano to score and Marissa Thomas to advance to third base.
Three pitches later, Thomas scored on a passed ball that plated go-ahead run and gave UNF the lead.
Bailey Blake gave the Trojans a scoring opportunity with a leadoff double to left field, but the senior was cut down at the plate trying to advance from second on an infield single by Ebony Wright. UNF pitcher Courney Radke picked up the final two outs to seal the victory for the Ospreys.
Radke (2-0) pitched the final 1.2 innings for UNF to earn the win, allowing just two hits and striking out one.
Troy’s Caitlin Ortiz finished 2-for-2 against the Ospreys, while Winters, Taylor Smartt, Blake and Wright all added base hits in the loss.
Troy wraps up pool play tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Virginia Tech. Tournament play begins at the Troy Subway Invitational tomorrow after the conclusion of game between the Hokies and Trojans. Admission is FREE to all Troy softball games.
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