TIPP CITY — Troy softball coach Scott Beeler knows his team possesses power — and put that on display against Tippecanoe Monday in MVL action.
Tippecanoe coach Scott Sutton hopes the trend of the MVL rivalry continues as the teams were scheduled to play Tuesday at Troy in the series finale.
Troy hit three home runs and broke open a scoreless game with an eight-run fourth inning in a 9-4 win over Tippecanoe.
Troy improved to 15-4 overall and 11-2 in the MVL, while Tipp dropped to 11-6 overall and 8-3 in the MVL.
“We knew we would score (after the first three scoreless innings),” Beeler said. “They (Tippecanoe) is a good team and they play good defense. We feel like we have a lot of strong hitters — we probably have six girls who can hit home runs. But, just because we won b five runs today doesn’t mean we will again tomorrow (Tuesday).”
Sutton hopes he is right.
“We had some errors on defense and they hit three home runs,” Sutton said. “Give Troy the respect they deserve. They are a good team. If I am not mistaken, I think the last couple years they have won here and we have won at Troy. I hope that trend continues.”
Pitchers Abigail Welbaum for Troy and Savannah Wead for Tippecanoe kept the game scoreless for three innings.
But, it was Welbaum who broke the ice in the Troy fourth.
Ashley Kloeker led off the inning with a single, but was forced out at second on Lilly James’ fielder’s choice.
After Caroline Turnbull walked, Welbaum sent the ball over the fence for a three-run homer.
“Abby (Welbaum) bats in the bottom of the order,” Beeler said. “But, she sees the ball really well. I think that is her third home run this season.”
With two outs, Allyson Burns singled, stole second and third and scored when the throw to third sailed into centerfield.
Briana Lavender reached on an error and would come around to score on a wild pitch.
“We are being smart on the bases, but being aggressive at the same time,” Beeler said.
After Elise McCann walked, Kloeker smashed a shot off the scoreboard behind left field to make it 8-0. She hesitated when she got to second base, when saw the ball had ricocheted back into left field, not realizing it was a home run.
“I think she thought it was just a big wall out there,” Sutton said with a laugh. “Ashley had struggled early in the year, then she pulled a hamstring two weeks ago that was hurting her at the plate. That (the home run) was good to see.”
Tipp got two runs back in the fourth.
Emma Davis had a one-out single and Ally Broering followed with a RBI double.
After a two-out single by Sidney Unger, Corinn Siefring had a RBI single to make it 8-2.
Troy got its final run in the fifth.
Lauren Fonner sent the ball over the left-field fence, just inside the foul pole to make it 9-2.
“She hit one foul out there and two pitches later she hit the home run,” Beeler said. “Lauren (Fonner) had been a little frustrated at the plate. I told her she was fine, just to relax and see the ball.”
In the Tipp sixth, Kaitlyn Husic doubled and scored on a single by Davis and Unger tripled in the seventh and scored on a wild pitch to make the final 9-4.
Wead and Anna Quinn combined to walk three and strikeout one. Kaela May turned two double plays at third by catching line drives and doubling a runner off first base.
Welbaum scattered 10 hits for Troy, striking out nine and walking one.
“I think we only struck out once today,” Beeler said. “Abby (Welbaum) and Lilly James have both pitched well. Abby is very consistent and had only walked three girls all season.”
Now, the Trojans will hope for a similar outcome on Tuesday, while Tipp hopes to continue the trend of the past several seasons.