Troy, Piqua softball can’t beat Mother Nature

TROY — The Troy and Piqua softball teams were hoping to get the first game of their two-game series in Friday at the Market Street diamond.

But, Mother Nature had other ideas.

Troy came into the game 18-3 overall and 14-2 in the MVL, while Piqua is 12-10 overall and 9-7 in the MVL.

But, the game was suspended in the fifth inning with Piqua having runners on first and second with one out in a scoreless game.

Both Troy and Piqua have tournament games Monday and would play again in the postseason Wednesday if they win.

“We really didn’t want to have to play four games next week (with a possible district semifinal game the following Monday),” Troy coach Scott Beeler said. “We would have preferred to be fresh for that game (if they win their first two tournament games).”

Piqua coach Greg Campbell had a lot to be pleased with Friday.

“I think when we are locked in we are a pretty good team,” Campbell said.

It was Piqua who had several good scoring opportunities, but Piqua pitcher Lilly James made big pitches when she needed them.

Kenzi Anderson and Reagan Toppes both walked in the first and were on second and third with one out, when James got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

It was more of the same in the third when Emily Kizer and Anderson singled and were again on second and third with one out, before James ended the threat with back-to-back strikeouts.

“We did (have some chances),” Campbell said. “Timely hitting and making routine plays are the key. Julia (Coppess) was doing a nice job out there (on the mound) controlling the game.”

Beeler liked what he saw from James.

“She did a nice job,” he said. “She has been having trouble with her curve, but had it under control tonight. She made some big pitches and we made some good plays defensively.”

Troy had just two hits off Coppess.

Elise McCann had an infield single in the second and Briana Lavender had a single in the fourth.

“Their pitcher throws a good changeup,” Beeler said. “But, we have to be patient up there. We have to be ready for that when the game resumes. We hit some balls hard right at people.”

On a slow roller to Piqua first baseman Audrey Bean in the Troy first, Lavender was out by half a step. Piqua second baseman Brielle Penley had moved over in case she needed to cover first and there was a violent collision between Lavender and Penley behind first base.

After a short delay, both players were able to remain in the game.

Kizer had a single to start the Piqua fifth.

With one out, Toopes was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second when the game was suspended.