By Josh Brown
TROY — After a tough but cleanly-played loss to a solid Northmont team on Thursday, the Troy softball team expected another quality test against Newton Friday.
The Indians just never let that happen.
Newton jumped out in front with a seven-run first inning — capped off by a three-run triple by leadoff hitter Maddie Mollette — then brought home nine more runs in the fourth and cut short a fifth-inning Trojan rally to finish a 16-6 run-rule victory over Troy Friday at Market Street Diamond.
“We weren’t ready to go, and they were,” Troy coach Dan Cain said. “They put a clinic on at our expense today.”
Troy (10-5) had won five straight before Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Northmont, and has now lost two straight going into a Saturday doubleheader with yet another quality team, Covington. Newton (7-7), meanwhile, has now beaten two Division I schools in the past three days, with a 4-3 win over Wayne on Wednesday and a 10-4 win at Mississinawa Valley Thursday.
“Playing Wayne at home the other day was a big game for us, having a Division I school come to our place and getting a win,” Newton coach Mark Gibson said. Newton is a D-IV program. “But last night against Mississinawa, sure we won 10-4, but we talk about playing our kind of softball, and if we’re not doing that, we’re not doing justice to the program. We’ve got to play the Indian way.
“Today, we came out full of energy and focus — which was what we lacked last night — and you see what can happen.”
The Indians five hits and three walks and sent 11 batters to the plate in the first inning off of Troy starter Hallie Snyder, who held Northmont scoreless for four innings and gave up only two runs in five innings the day before, but who only lasted 2-3 of an inning Friday.
Kylee Fisher began the two-out rally with an RBI single up the middle, then McKell Deaton drove in another run with a double. A walk and single loaded the bases, and Laura Oaks drew an RBI walk before Rylee Schauer beat out an RBI infield single. Mollette then capped it off by yanking a bases-clearing triple off the fence in right-center, making it 7-0 Newton before Troy even stepped up to the plate for the first time.
“I don’t think Hallie had the same velocity as she did against Northmont yesterday,” Cain said. “Newton just hit the ball and executed — and we didn’t even really get mad about it until about the third inning.”
Troy got a run back in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Camryn Moeller and Savannah Nelson, then the Trojans manufactured another run in the second. Lauryn Rutan drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a ground and third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI groundout by Hannah Wright to make the score 7-2 Newton after two.
“To come out against a team like Troy and a coach like Dan and put seven on the board … we knew Troy would push back,” Gibson said. “To Dan’s credit, his kids never gave up. But we just tried to focus on ourselves and the way we play.”
Moeller, who came on to pitch in relief for Troy and end the first inning, kept Newton’s bats quiet in the second and third innings, but the Indians came alive again in the top of the fourth.
Haley Pack and Kacie Tackett had back-to-back singles to start the inning, then Fisher hit an RBI single off the base of the fence in left-center, the ball hanging up in the air and freezing the runners until it landed. After a walk, Kristen Rappold drove in two runs with an RBI single. Troy finally recorded an out with a fielder’s choice at second base, then catcher Kearston Riley threw a runner out trying to steal second for out No. 2 — but Newton still wasn’t done.
Oaks ripped an RBI double, then a pair of wild pitches eventually scored two more runs. Mollette hit her second triple of the game and scored on a bloop RBI double by Pack. Fisher had her second RBI single of the inning and another run came home on an error, and the Indians led 16-2 after the nine-run inning.
That’s where the score remained until the bottom of the fifth, when Troy did everything it could to avoid being run-ruled. Josie Rohlfs led off with a walk and Moeller beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners, then Rohlfs scored on a wild pitch. Nelson drove in Moeller for the second time in the game with an RBI single, then a one-out double by Rutan put runners on second and third. Newton got a groundout for the second out, but Wright hit a two-run single to make the score 16-6.
Sara Goodwin beat out an infield single to put runners on first and second, but Newton third baseman Dunlevy snagged a scorched line drive that would have been a sure double to end the game.
“This was a great team win for us,” Gibson said. “When everyone can contribute and we play a complete game, this is what can happen. We just have to keep trying to do the right things and play the Indian way, and hopefully the score works out in our favor in the end.”
Fisher was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, Mollette was 2 for 5 with two triples and three RBIs, Oaks was 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI, Pack was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Deaton doubled and had an RBI, Schauer was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Dunlevy was 3 for 3 and Rappold was 1 for 3 with two RBIs.
Rappold also got the win, allowing 11 hits and walking two while striking out two.
For Troy, Nelson was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs, Moeller was 2 for 3 with a double, Rutan doubled and scored twice, Goodwin was 2 for 3 and Wright was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs.
“Mentally, we just didn’t come ready to go,” Cain said. “Newton came out ready to go, and they were better than us at every position today. Newton just flat-out hit the ball, and we didn’t.
“After we make a mistake, it’s about what we do after — and we can’t just make another by hanging our heads and feeling sorry for ourselves. Kids are wanting opportunities, and they’ve got to make the most of them when they get them.”
Troy hosts Covington today in a doubleheader looking to get back on track, while Newton looks to continue its run at Tri-County North Monday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.