Welbaum ‘Pitcher Perfect’ as Troy softball gets fourth straight run-rule victory


NEW CARLISLE — Coming off a record 21-4 season and graduating six starters, many outside the program may have looked at this as a rebuilding year for the Trojans.

But, Troy coach Scott Beeler knew they had that all wrong.

In his mind, it was a re-building year and the Trojans have proven that through their first six games.

After losing two close games to MVL favorite Greenville to start the season, the Trojans ran off its fourth straight run-rule victory Saturday morning against Tecumseh with an 11-0 victory and followed that with an 8-1 win over Tri-County North to go to 5-2.

“I said before the season we were going to surprise people,” Beeler said. “After the Greenville game, Jerrod (Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland) said ‘You found some good girls to fill some big holes’. And he is right. We did. All these girls are making plays.”

Senior pitcher Abigail Welbaum — who just happened to throw a perfect game against Tecumseh — had no concerns going into the season.

“I knew we were going to be a good team,” Welbaum said. “We have clicked from the start. I am really pleased with the way this team has come together.”

As for Welbaum, she has the ability to focus one pitch at a time.

After taking a phone call in the dugout after the game, she was asked if it was her first perfect game.

“Actually, it is,” she said. “I didn’t even think about that until you just said that.”

Welbaum didn’t make her defense do much work.

After a ground out to Emma Setser at second base for Tecumseh;s first out of the game, she struck out the next eight batters.

“That could be (that she struck out eight in a row),” Welbaum said. “I don’t think about things like that (a no-hitter) during the game. I am focused on attacking the plate and getting outs.”

But, when called on, the defense showed why Beeler had so much confidence in them coming into the season.

Catcher Olivia Setser and third baseman Elise McCann handled foul pops and freshman Madison Wright made a running catch in deep left field.

As Tecumseh batted in the fifth inning, the only drama was would Welbaum get a perfect game.

Tecumseh catcher Addison Accurso hit rocket that appeared headed to right field for a base hit.

But, Emma Setser turned in a web gem, making a leaping catch at second on the line drive.

“Emma (Setser) definitely save me as far as the perfect game goes,” Welbaum said. “And Maddy (Madison Wright) made a good play in left field.”

Welbaum then finished it off in style with her ninth and 10th strikeouts.

“I think that is one thing people having taking note of —our pitching,” Beeler said. “The run-rules may not have against the strongest competition, but we have only allowed seven runs in seven games. Abby (Welbaum) is doing a great.”

Troy got all the runs they needed in the first when Elise McCann had a two-out triple and Welbaum doubled her in.

The Trojans added four runs in the third as Welbaum had a two-run single and Amayah Kennedy and Riley King added RBI singles.

Troy got four more runs in the fourth as Abby Seger started things with a double, Hallie Frigge had a RBI single and King drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run.

The Trojans added two runs in the fifth as Welbaum helped herself again with a two-run single.

“It took us a little while to get started with the bats today,” Beeler said.

Against Tri-County North, King pitched five innings and combined with Welbaum on a six-hitter, striking out seven.

Troy has now outscored its opponents 57-7 and looks to continue the re-loading when Fairborn visits Monday.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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