MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – On a cold and gusty day at the Blue Raider Softball Field, the Troy softball team picked up a split in its first Sun Belt series of the season at Middle Tennessee.
Troy fell, 7-5, in the day’s first game, but rebounded as senior Michaela Hamilton tossed a five-hit complete game shutout of the Blue Raiders (1-14, 1-1) as the Trojans picked up a 5-0 win in the nightcap.
In second game of the day, the Trojans (10-10, 1-1) broke the game open in the top of the fourth as Caitlin Ortiz blasted her first career grand slam and extended Troy’s lead to 5-0. The grand slam by the senior was the first grand slam by a Trojan this season.
Hamilton (1-1) picked up her first win in over a year, as she threw her first complete game as Trojan. The senior struck out six and did not allow a walk her seven innings of work in her longest outing of her career.
Despite the cold temperatures hovering around 30 degrees throughout, the Troy bats heated up in nightcap and recorded 10 hits off three different Middle Tennessee pitchers in the win. Brittany Russ delivered the first run of the day with an RBI single to shortstop in the third inning that plated Kacie McAllister.
Ortiz finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a run scored, while Bailey Blake was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate. McAllister added a base hit and scored two runs in the victory.
In game one, Samantha Nieve’s two-out double to left field scored two runs and gave the Blue Raider’s a lead 6-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth. The Blue Raiders added insurance later in the frame with a triple by Nina Dever that was hit high into the wind, fell in front of diving Ebony Wright in center.
Troy jumped out in front of Middle Tennessee 1-0 in the first inning on McAllister’s bunt infield single that rolled all the way to the outfield grass and scored
Chandler Griffin, who led off the game with a single to right, from second base. The Trojans added a another run two innings later on a Caitlin Ortiz RBI single drove in McAllister to extend Troy’s lead to 2-0.
Middle Tennessee cut the Troy lead in half with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the third. Designated player Katie Brown belted her first home run of the season with a solo blast to left field to cut the Troy lead down to 2-1.
The Blue Raiders added two more runs in the frame as Nieves’s double to center brought in Kristi Marquez, who reached on an error, to tie the game. Two batters later, Middle Tennessee catcher Laura Dukes gave the Blue Raiders the lead, scoring from third base on a wild pitch.
Ortiz drove her second run of the day by lining a double to right field wall scoring Hannah Renn, who picked up her first triple of the season with one out in the fifth.
The Trojans added two more runs in the inning in part to two Middle Tennessee errors as Ortiz and Winters scored to allow Troy retake the lead at 5-4.
Rigney (5-4) took the loss for the Trojans, throwing six innings and allowing seven runs, four earned, while giving up six hits.
McAllister picked up a career-high three hits against the Blue Raiders, while Ortiz finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Troy returns to action on Saturday at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas. The Trojans face University of Missouri-Kansas City at 11 a.m. and UT-Arlington at 3 p.m.