The Drummond High School softball team rolled into Troy Saturday with high hopes of ending a long streak of being on the wrong end of the score, and for half of the first game of the doubleheader, looked like they had every chance of doing just that. However the host Trojans exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and then shut down Drummond in the top of the fifth, winning 14-3. Troy kept the bats hot in the second game, plating 21 runs to end that game early as well, 21-11.
Drummond began game one with a run in each of the first, second and third innings, and always threatening with more, but just couldn’t get that big hit to get that big inning. Troy pitcher Kylie Carr seemed to be in early trouble, but was able to get out of each of those first three innings with minimal damage despite giving up eight hits.
Troy kept pace offensively. They were helped a bit by the wildness of the Drummond pitcher who issued six walks in the game, and even more so by the shaky defense from Drummond that committed five errors in game one. In contrast, Troy played game one error free, and Carr only issued two free passes.
Although Drummond outhit Troy, it was the power and timely hitting of Troy, combined with the gifts from Drummond that made the difference. Behind by one coming to bat in the first, the combination of Troy’s three and four hitters in their lineup, Grace Dolan and Alyssa Lewis, tied the game back up at one, and began a show of force they showed throughout the day. With two out in the first, Dolan came within three inches of powering a ball out of the park, leaving her at third base with a triple. She quickly was sent home on a sharp hit up the middle from Lewis.
Drummond again held a one run lead in the second inning when Troy was able to put some distance between them scoring four in their half of the inning. A bases-loaded walk to Carr brought home one run, before Dolan had a sharp hit to bring in two more. The Trojans scored four in the inning to go up by three.
Another run from Drummond brought them a little closer in the third, and Troy went down harmlessly in their half before their explosion in the fourth inning. The weather began to warm up as did Carr’s arm. Her velocity started to rise, and it brought the Drummond bats down. After giving up eight hits the first three innings, Carr only allowed one more hit the remaining two innings.
Dolan began the big fourth inning for Troy with her third straight hit, ending up in scoring position after an error, and again knocked in by Lewis with another base hit. A few fielding choices and a walk led to freshman Harlee Huisentruit contributing with a run scoring single. Carr then helped her own cause with a two-run double. Dolan again was on base with an error when Lewis ended the scoring with a no doubt home run over the fence.
Troy’s triple combination of Carr, Dolan and Lewis had seven of Troy’s eight hits, including a double, triple and home run, scored seven runs and had 10 RBIs. Carr went the distance in the circle to earn the win, giving up three earned runs, walking two and striking out three.
Game two saw Troy as the visiting team and they wasted no time in putting runs on the board. After a walk and a hit batter, Lewis kept up her power show, knocking one over the fence for a three run home run, and her second home run in as many at bats.
Carr’s arm stayed warm as well. She shut the Drummond bats down, going the first three innings, with only 11 Drummond batters coming to the plate, and not allowing a run.
Troy had a huge second inning with most of the damage being done by the Drummond pitcher not being able to find the strike zone, and when she did, the Troy hitters found green space in the outfield. Eight batters were either walked or hit with a pitch. The big hits came from Mazzy Hermes, and Tristyn Winebark, both with two-run singles, Carr unloaded the bases with a base hit, and Lewis again showing her power with a Lewis with a ground rule double that took one hop over the left field fence.
By the time Troy was done scoring on the day, it was 21-0. Hermes and Montana Rice each had two RBIs. Carr and Winebark each had four, and Lewis chipped in six, giving her 10 RBIs to go along with her two home runs in the two games. Carr again earned the win, also coming back into the circle for the last out after Drummond threatened to take the game into another inning.
Give Drummond credit. Take the scoreboard away and a spectator who walked up in the fourth inning would never know the girls were down almost two dozen runs. Their spirit, their laughter, their cheers and their smiles -- from coaches and fans alike -- are what makes high school sports so special. Regardless of how they came up with 11 runs over those last two innings, the fun they had playing, and their willingness to not give up should be what is taken away from watching them play. It was another example of how adults can learn from the kids they raise, just as the kids can learn from the adults.
Ernie Harwell once said, “Baseball is just a game, as simple as a ball and bat, yet as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes.” The girls showed that softball is just a game as well, and I’m sure everyone there enjoyed the spirit both teams displayed at the ballfield in Troy Saturday afternoon. Well done girls.