Troy’s softball team took the title at the 13th Annual Lead-Off Classic, bringing on a good start to the fall season.
“We got one game in on Friday, and beat St. Dominic 4-1,” Coach Lance Richardson said. “And then we picked it back up on Monday because of the rain.”
In the Labor Day games, the Trojans started strong with a 12-0 blowout against Fulton, then played a much-tighter game against Fort Zumwalt South that ended 2-0. Troy won the championship game, played against Francis Howell Central, 19-1.
Richardson said that Howell Central had simply run out of pitchers playing three back-to-back games on Monday, which had given the Trojans a big advantage heading into the final match.
“Offensively we did what we needed to do, and our pitching was outstanding,” Richardson said.
The Trojans lost a three-time all-stater in Kiersten Nixon last year, who Richardson said threw a lot of innings for the team, but the new crop of pitchers has really risen to the challenge of filling those shoes.
“These girls did exceptional, they did awesome, our two senior pitchers,” Richardson said about Ali Cook and Makayla Bryant. The team’s strengths are sitting in a variety of places, with the Trojans playing a well-rounded game. In the first six games of the season, Richardson said they’ve seen good pitching, good offense and a solid defense.
“We feel good, where we’re at, just because all sides of the game we’re pretty good at,” Richardson said. “Maybe not excellent, but good.”
Part of that lies in the girls’ ability to work with each other, he said.
“When you’ve got talent and you’ve got girls all pushing and pulling in the same direction, you never know,” Richardson said. “We’ve got the pieces, and we just got a great group of girls.”
Troy played Francis Howell on Sept. 3, and pulled down a clean sweep, with a notable player taking shape in Lela Bryant, who went 2-3 with 4 rbi’s.
Cook only gave up five hits with six strikeouts.
The team played again Thursday, Sept. 5, and heads down to Francis Howell Central on Sept. 10 at 4:15 p.m.