By Josh Brown
TROY — Troy softball coach Scott Beeler knows exactly what his team is capable of.
Thursday, the Trojans showed it.
A Madison Potts solo home run capped off a five-run first inning in Troy’s home opener Thursday against Wayne, eight different players had RBIs in the game, pitchers Hallie Snyder and Erica Keenan combined on a no-hitter and the Trojans (2-0) routed the injury-depleted Warriors 11-1 in five innings at Market Street Diamond.
After only two innings, hitters No. 2 through 7 each had at least one RBI, and leadoff hitter Josie Rohlfs’ RBI triple in the third gave Troy’s first seven batters in the lineup an RBI or more each — and a 10-1 lead through three innings.
“When you can get that depth of production, it really helps your lineup,” Beeler said. “When everybody can hit and knock people in, it helps. Everybody in our lineup is dangerous. Even those bottom three have the ability to do it, and that production will come along eventually.”
And after pitching a one-two-three top of the fifth in relief of starter Hallie Snyder — who got the win — reliever Erica Keenan hit a two-out bloop RBI single the other way to bring home Savannah Nelson, who had hit a one-out triple earlier in the inning, to put away the run-rule victory.
“Erica is a freshman, she hasn’t been hitting that much,” Beeler said. “She stepped up to finish off the run rule. It was her first at-bat of the game, she got down (in the count) 0-2 and took it to right field. That was nice to see.”
When it came down to it, though, everything was nice to see for the Trojans.
Rohlfs led off the Troy half of the first with a single, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out RBI single by Lauryn Rutan. A wild pitch and walk to Nelson later, Molly Miller ripped an RBI single and took the extra base on the throw to third, putting runners on second and third with one out. Snyder hit a sac fly to right to score one runner, and Miller came home on an errant relay throw to make it 4-0 and empty the bases with two outs.
Potts still tacked on one more run, though, hammering a solo shot over the fence in left to make it 5-0 Troy after one.
“Madison’s been struggling a little bit this year,” Beeler said. “She came out tonight, hit that home run and ended up with a two-hit night. It was nice to see her break out of her slump. That’ll help with her confidence going into Monday and Tuesday against Greenville.”
In the second, Megan Malott drew a leadoff walk and stole second, coming home on an RBI single by Kearston Riley. Rutan then blasted an RBI double off the fence in left field, and Nelson hit a bloop RBI single to make it an 8-0 game. A single by Snyder and a walk by Potts loaded the bases, but Wayne was able to get out of the inning without further damage.
The defense, meanwhile, was on cruise control as Snyder retired the first eight batters she faced. A two-out walk and a dropped popup in the third inning gave the Warriors their only run of the game.
“Our defense has been solid so far this year,” Beeler said. “That was our first error, with both the shortstop and left fielder hustling to get to the ball, and I’ll take that. I don’t like errors, but both girls were hustling and trying to make a play. They just need to be louder and let someone take charge in that situation.”
Troy got two more runs in the bottom of the third after a leadoff single by Abby Innes, an RBI triple by Rohlfs and an RBI single by Riley. And in the top of the fourth, the defense erased a leadoff walk with a outstanding sliding catch by Madeline Lavender in left field and then a 6-4-3 double play turned by shortstop Rutan and second baseman Rohlfs. But the lead remained 10-1 after four as the Trojans once again left the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning.
But Nelson’s one-out triple and Keenan’s two-out RBI single in the bottom of the fifth put an early end to the game — which began a half hour late due to lightning in the area before the first pitch.
Rohlfs and Nelson both finished 3 for 4 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored, Rutan was 2 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, Potts was 2 for 2 with a homer and an RBI and Riley was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Miller, Snyder and Keenan each had a hit and an RBI and Malott had a hit and two runs scored.
“Monday against National Trail, our three, four and five hitters were a combined 2 for 12,” Beeler said. “Their production tonight was a lot better. Lauryn and Savannah were hitting the ball hard tonight.”
Snyder went the first four innings, walking two and giving up one unearned run with no strikeouts and no hits allowed, then Keenan finished the no-hitter by striking out two in a one-two-three fifth inning.
“I’m super proud of the girls tonight,” Beeler said. “Wayne was missing some players, has some injuries, but it was a good win for us still. They still had their big bats, and our pitchers did a great job of shutting them down. We had a 6-3 win Monday but struggled a little at the plate, and everyone just came out and played well tonight.”
Troy will face division rival Greenville in a back-to-back series to start next week, playing the Green Wave on the road Monday then returning home Tuesday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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