Troy softball rallies in home seventh to defeat Piqua 7-6

TROY — It may have appeared as a mismatch on paper.

Troy entered Tuesday’s softball game with Piqua 19-4 overall and 14-2 in the MVL.

Piqua came in 7-11 overall and 7-8 in the MVL.

But, Troy coach Scott Beeler wasn’t surprised his team had to rally with three runs in the home seventh to defeat the Indians 7-6.

“It’s Troy-Piqua,” Beeler said. “Piqua is a much better team than their record. They can hit the ball.”

The way the game ended was disappointing to both coaches.

Beeler was proud of his team for another win in in their final at bat, but knows Piqua righthander Kennedy Fashner was attempting to pitch the home seventh in less than ideal conditions — a driving rain storm.

“Nobody wants to see the game end that way,” Beeler said. “It was unfortunate that way it happened.”

He would get no argument from Piqua coach Greg Campbell.

“I felt like the game should have been stopped,” Campbell said. “Instead, they let the weather determine the outcome. Kennedy (Fashner) had pitched great for two innings before that.”

Beeler had a message for his team as they trailed 6-4 going to their final at bat.

“I told them if they want to go down as the best team in Troy history, these are the kind of games you have to win,” he said. “And they did that.”

Erin Bruce had walked to start the seventh.

On Hallie Frigge’s bunt, the throw to first sailed into right field, putting tying runs on second and third.

Both runners would score on wild pitches as Allyson Burns, Briana Lavender and Lauren Fonner all walked.

Elise McCann was hit by a pitch to give Troy the walk-off win and improve their record to 20-4.

“There are still some years I don’t have the records for,” Beeler said. “But, I believe that ties us for the best record in school history.”

There were big hits from both teams throughout the contest.

Lavender got Troy on the board in the first with a solo homer.

“Briana (Lavender) has always hit the ball hard,” Beeler said. “In the past, it was about warning track depth. It is great to see as she has gotten older, she has developed more power.”

Piqua tied it in the fourth when Caylee Roe singled and Brooklyn Larck would follow with an RBI single to make it 1-1.

Troy came right back with two runs in the home fourth.

Lavender started things with a single and Fonner followed with a single to left field.when the ball got by the left fielder, Lavender scored and Fonner ended up on third. Fonner scored on McCann’s fielder’s choice to make it 3-1.

Piqua regained the lead with one swing of the bat in the fifth.

Olivia Anthony started things with a double and Kenzi Anderson singled.

Reagan Toopes then drilled a three-run homer to put the Indians on top 4-3.

“Piqua has some kids who can hit,” Beeler said.

Troy tied it in the fifth.

Abigail Welbaum walked, took second on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on Bruce’s double.

It stayed that way until a wild seventh inning.

Toopes started the Piqua seventh with a single, before Fashner hit a monster shot over the right-field fence to put Piqua in front 6-4. The ball landed 40 feet over the baseball fence in the baseball outfield.

“Kennedy (Fashner) has hit some shots this year that probably went at least 250 feet,” Campbell said. “She is having an amazing year at the plate.”

Piqua had two-on with two outs when Lavender made a long, running catch in centerfield to prevent further damage and set up the crazy finish.

“These girls have found a way to win these games all year,” Beeler said.

Something that the Piqua team is still struggling with.

“We have a young team,” Campbell said. “We still make some mistakes that cost us. Once we eliminate those, we will be a good team.”

Lilly James and Welbaum combined to strikeout five, while scattering 10 hits.

Fashner had four strikeout in her first two innings after relieving Julia Coppess.

They combined to strikeout six and walk six, while allowing six hits.

The two teams will meet again Friday at Troy — when you can once again throw the records out.

After all, it is Troy-Piqua.