The Troy Class B varsity and Libby Class A junior varsity softball teams played at Roosevelt Park on Tuesday, April 10, with back-to-back wins for the Lady Loggers.
Despite an almost constant drizzle and cold, parking around the field was full for over four hours of play, with the final game called for darkness just before the fifth inning started. Many fans stayed in their vehicles, opting to stay warm and dry, but with and without cover, many others stood and sat in the cold and damp.
“I thought it was good. We had a good competition, and it’s always a fun game for the kids, because they know each other,” Libby JV Coach Jeremy Hageness said.
“It’s always good playing Libby,” said Troy Head Coach Keith Haggerty. The players, coaches and fans know each other well, and it makes for a fun competition close to home for both teams.
Though Libby pulled out a 7-point win over Troy in the first game, they spent the first three innings with only one run scored.
“I think it was kind of soggy at first,” Hageness quipped.
In the second game, the two teams stayed close early, leaving the score tied 8-8 going into the third inning, when Libby pulled into the lead they would hold to the end.
With a season plagued by weather cancellations, the double header was only the second time the relatively inexperienced Lady Trojans have played another team this season.
Coming into the season, Troy had players who didn’t even know what a double play was, Haggerty said.
In their 19-2 loss to Priest River March 29, hesitation and slow reactions cost the Lady Trojans multiple errors, turning plays that could have been an out or a single into multiple RBIs for the Lady Spartans.
Yet, in their two games combined against Libby, the Lady Trojans had only half as many errors as during that first game.
“You can see it in the players, ‘cause they’re working hard,” Haggerty said. “They are just getting better every day.”
The Troy players showed a much higher level of aggression in going after the ball, as well as on the offense. One run scored for Troy that stood out came from catcher Kaylee Tunison during the second game.
In the bottom of the first, after a bit of a rough start for the Lady Trojans and a 4-0 Libby lead, Tunison hit a single on a 3-2 count. She then doggedly stole her way around the bases and home, sliding into the plate and safe by only a hair, she scored the first run of the game for the Lady Trojans.
Even immediately after the first loss to Priest River, Haggerty said the current team may be the most promising group of softball players Troy has had.
“We don’t have the so-called superstars on the team that might be here in Troy, but we have superstars in the making,” he said on Tuesday.
L 100 422 1 - R:10 H:5 E:0
T 003 000 0 - R:3 H:4 E:2
P/C: Linsey Walker and Sheyla Gallagher, Mazzy Hermes and Kaylee Tunison. WP - Walker, LP - Mazzy Hermes.
L: Linsey Walker, Sheyla Gallagher 2 (2B-2), Bethany Thomas, Aren James, Kayley Svendsbye, Samantha Miller
T: Kaylee Tunison, Tristyn Winebark, Cami Finley, Harlee Huisentruit (2B)
L 446 4 - R:18 H:9 E:0
T 443 0 - R:11 H:8 E:2
P/C: Keira Ward and Cerria Swagger, Tristyn Winebark and Kaylee Tunison. WP - Ward, LP - Winebark.
L: Ashlyn Monigold 2, Aren James 2, Taylor Holm 3 (2B), C. Swagger, Amaya Borden.
T: Tunison 2, Izzy Ramirez 2, Montana Rice 2 (2B), Talise Becquart, Kenzie Wallace (2B).