TROY – Troy split a Tuesday non-conference date with Kennesaw State, earning the victory in game one 2-1 before dropping game two 7-3 in the Troy Softball Complex.
The day featured two very different ballgames. The first contest was one of strong pitching and defense, while game two saw KSU belt a pair of two-run homers to take a commanding lead early.
"Getting game one was a big win for us," head coach Melanie Davis said. "Although they are in the Atlantic Sun Conference, they have a very solid program and their coach is a hall of famer. It was a big win for us.
"I'm disappointed with the runs we gave up. I think our defense let down Haley Hutchens with the runs we gave up early in game two and we dug too big of a deficit for our girls to overcome."
Ashley Adkins led Troy with three total hits on the day.
GAME 1: Troy 2, Kennesaw State 1 (8 innings)
The first meeting of the afternoon featured Troy senior hurler Ashlyn Williams twirling an outstanding performance. The Hattiesburg, Miss.-native tossed a complete game three-hitter and surrendered just one run – a first inning homer.
Following that shot, Williams limited the Owls to just two more hits.
Troy answered the KSU home run with a blast of its own – a solo shot to left field by junior infielder Nikki Hollett. The homer was Hollett's 15th of the season.
It would be seven more innings before the Trojan would cross the plate again. After Williams worked around a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth, Troy pushed Ashley Adkins across the plate for the game-winning run on an infield single by Michelle Hewett.
Adkins was placed on second by the international tie-breaker rule, and was moved to second by a well-executed sacrifice bunt from Kortney Cooper.
Williams struck out 13 in the complete game effort. The win was her eighth of the season.
GAME 2: Kennesaw State 7, Troy 3
Following two scoreless frames, the Owls' bats woke up in the third inning of game two. Following back-to-back singles and an error by Hollett, Jessica Cross drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Following a pop up, second baseman Taylor Smartt's error plated KSU's second run. Brittany Moore's RBI single made it 3-0 in favor of the Owls as the game moved to the bottom of the third inning.
The Trojans got one back in the bottom half as Cooper took advantage of some KSU defensive confusion following a single by Kelly Luquette to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Owls weren't finished though and in the fourth Ashlee Burkett followed up a Jensen Hackett double with a two-run blast to right centerfield. Two batters later, Cross left the ballpark with another two-run home run driving in Sara Sikes who had previously reached on a single.
The four run burst chased Troy starter Haley Hutchins, who allowed five runs in 3.2 innings. She was replaced by Morgan Grove. The junior from Tallahassee, Fla. finished the game with 3.2 innings of scoreless ball. She allowed just two hits.
The Trojans tacked on two runs in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI-double from Hollett. The strike scored Ashley Adkins and Cooper.