Troy softball leads after six innings in D-I sectional tournament loss to Centerville


TROY — It wasn’t the ending the Troy softball team had hoped for in Division I sectional play at the Market Street diamond.

But, the final score didn’t really reflect the game Troy played against Centerville.

While Troy, 21-5, came in as the fourth seed and Centerville came in as the seventh seed, Troy coach Scott Beeler knows people questioned Troy’s record-setting season — and for six innings Troy proved them wrong.

The Trojans led 5-4 going to the seventh, before 14-10 Centerville erupted for 10 runs to win 14-6.

“The one thing I think people looked at is they felt our record was soft because of our schedule,” Beeler said. “Hopefully, we showed people that wasn’t the case tonight. At first I was upset (when Centerville jumped on them in the bracket). But, then I looked at it. They had competed well with fifth seed Northmont and beat second seed Beavercreek. I just think they felt like this bracket was their best chance to get to district.”

He knew the game would be a battle.

“I voted Centerville the fifth seed,” he said. “They play a really tough schedule. There are a lot of really good teams in the GWOC. We knew this would be a tough game.”

For six innings, Troy did everything they needed to do to win.

After Centerville freshman catcher Ardyn Hopf had a RBI double in the first to put Centerville up 1-0 and added a two-run single in the fifth to put the Elks up 3-0, Troy fought back.

Caroline Turnbull had a leadoff single in the third off Ashley Arnold for Troy’s first hit.

“I was really happy to see her get the first hit,” Beeler said. “She is our only senior has provided great leadership all year.”

Elise McCann had a leadoff triple in the fourth, but Troy could not score.

The Trojans finally broke through with three runs in the fifth to tie it.

After a one-out walk to Turnbull and a single by Allyson Burns, Briana Lavender had a RBI single and Lauren Fonner followed with a two-run double.

Hayley Arnold had a RBI single for Centerville in the sixth to put the Elks up 4-3, before Troy again answered in the sixth.

Erin Bruce had a one-out single and Emma Setser ran for her.

With two outs, Burns had a RBI single to tie it and Lavender followed with a RBI double to put Troy up 5-4 and leave the Trojans three outs from victory.

But, Centerville took the lead on a grand slam by Hopf and she added a two-run triple in the 10-run inning to finish 4-for-5, hitting for the cycle with nine RBIs.

“She is a really good hitter,” Beeler said. “No question about it. We made one bad pitch and they took advantage. We didn’t do anything wrong in the seventh inning. They just hit the ball. The flood gates kind of opened after the home run. We have done so many great things this year. It was heartbreaking to have this happen tonight.”

Ashley Arnold pitched the first six and two-third innings and combined with Hayley Arnold on a 10-hitter with nine strikeouts and four walks.

Abby Welbaum limited Centerville to six hits in the first six innings and combined with Lilly James for six strikeouts and two walks.

Welbaum had a RBI double in the home seventh to make it 14-6.

“We didn’t quit,” Beeler said. “We scored a run in the home seventh and Abby (Welbaum) hit that double.”

And, the Trojans are not done this year — or for the foreseeable future.

Troy has games left with Piqua and Northmont, which is Friday at Wright State University.

“You know, we have the chance to finish 23-5,” he said. “We only have one senior. We are going to be a team to deal with next year.”

Beeler plans to upgrade the schedule.

“I want to add some GWOC teams if we can,” he said. “I think that will better prepare us for the tournament. I think we are going to be darn tough to beat next year. And it won’t be just next year. We are going to be good for awhile.”

A point the Trojans made Monday with their play in the first six innings.

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