Troy softball gets past Vandalia-Butler 6-4


VANDALIA — It came down to a classic pitcher-batter matchup.

And Troy softball coach Scott Beeler knew he had an ace — literally.

In the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, Butler trailed the Trojans 6-4.

Kaylee Worrell was on second base as Kylee Kleiner strode to the plate.

Kleiner had homered in the fourth inning and represented the tying run.

But, Beeler had no doubt who would win the battle.

Welbaum got her to ground out to second baseman Emma Setser and the Trojans left Vandalia with a 6-4 win.

Welbaum has now thrown 37 innings since last Saturday.

“Abby (Abigail Welbaum) is a workhorse out there,” Beeler said. “She has thrown a lot of innings this week. I am sure there were pitches of hers that were not moving as much as normal. But, when it comes to the mental game, Abby is as tough as anyone. When it comes down to it, she is going to get the outs when she needs them.”

The win improved Troy to 8-4 overall and 6-3 in the conference. Butler is 8-4 overall and 6-1 in the MVL.

“It was hard to know exactly what to expect looking at their schedule,” Beeler said. “They had some good wins and they had some wins over lower level teams. But, I know with Butler, it is always going to be a battle and (Butler coach) Cortney Bumbalough had them ready to play.”

Troy had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second.

Amayah Kennedy was hit by a pitch with one out and Riley King drilled a RBI single over the right fielder’s head.

King would score on a wild pitch after walks to Olivia Setser and Madison Wright and Abby Seger singled in pinch runner Kendall Spangenberger to make it 3-0.

Kleiner’s homer got Butler to within 3-1, but Troy scored two runs in the fifth to make it 5-1.

Elise McCann had a two-run single after Olivia Setser walked and Seger singled.

But, Butler kept battling.

In the fifth Sydney Stevens doubled and scored on Natalie Harris’ single.

In the sixth, Jami Brockert had a RBI double and another run scored on an error to make it 5-4.

Wright started the Troy seventh with a bunt single.

“That is one of the reasons I have her there in the ninth spot,” Beeler said.

After a fielder’s choice, McCann picked up her third RBI with a two-out single to score Seger and give Troy some insurance and make it 6-4.

“I knew Butler had the top of the order coming up (in the seventh),” Beeler said. “So, that was a big run.”

Butler pitcher Addison Suess pitched a seven-hitter, with one strikeout, three walks and hit batter.

Welbaum scattered six hits, striking out 12 and walking two.

And saving her best for when it mattered most.

You can reach Sports Editor Rob Kiser at [email protected]

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