Trojans Add Another Win Before Ending Season at NAIA Opening Round
MEDFORD, Ore. – Taylor was eliminated from the NAIA Opening Round Tournament after going 1-2 in the tournament. This season, the Trojans tied with the 2015 season for the third most wins in program history with 36 wins.
After falling to No. 11 Hope International (46-13) in day one, the Trojans competed against RV Marymount California (34-14) in the matinee match. Taylor shut down the Mariners offense at the right time to win, 5-4.
The Trojans were led by Hannah Castor in their first game of the day. Castor went two for three in the batter’s box and finished with two RBIs.
After Taylor struggled in the first inning on offense, TU picked things up in the bottom half of the second inning. Castor had a leadoff single and she managed to get to second base after Wilson bunted and reached first. The duo added a stolen base to their season tally. With Castor on third and Wilson on second, Erin Cozad hit a sacrifice fly to the second baseman, sending Castor home and Wilson advancing to third. Kara Tucker would also hit a sacrifice fly, this time to right field, bringing in Wilson.
After the deficit had been cut in half, Cassy Lewis and Olivia Hostetler would bunt back-to-back, with both reaching first base safely. Lewis came home after Courtney Moriarty was hit by a pitch. Castor would single to right field, bringing in Hostetler and Moriarty. Taylor would score three, crucial insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to give it a comfortable four run lead.
Marymount California would find itself in a deep hole, heading into the top of the sixth inning. MCU scored three runs in the top of the sixth but would fall one run short of tying the game.
Both teams were held scoreless in the seventh inning, giving Taylor its 36th win of the season.
Maddi Evans (4-3) pitched the first five innings for the Trojans. Evans struck out five batters and only gave up three runs in her winning effort against Marymount California. Jessica Doctor earned her third save of the season after coming in relief and not giving up any runs in one inning of work.
Taylor left six runners on base and scored five runs on seven hits. The Mariners left 12 runners on base and had 10 hits and four runs.
In a primetime contest, Hope International and Taylor squared off for the third time in program history. The winner would receive a chance to win a bid to the NAIA World Series and the loser would be sent home. Despite scoring the first two runs of the game in the third inning, the Trojans’ efforts would not be enough, falling to the Royals, 5-3.
Kayla Britt would grab the second hit of her career, with her first coming against Marymount California, on a leadoff home run in the third inning. Moments later, Evans would score after Castor singled up the middle.
The Royals took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring three runs on three hits. HIU would continue to run up the score in the sixth inning, scoring two runs on just as many hits.
In a last ditch effort to take control of the ball game, Cozad doubled to deep left field in the seventh inning. Kara Tucker would reach base on a misplayed grounder, sending Cozad home. Cozad scored the final run of the ball game and the final run of the Trojans’ season.
Doctor (12-10) got the nod to start for the TU in the circle, she gave up three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of work.
Taylor ends its historic season with a record of 36-17. The senior class has won a total of 134 games. They have also made it to the NAIA Opening Round twice, picking up the second and third NAIA Opening Round win in Taylor Softball program history.