TROY — The date was May 8, but the feel was that of the first weekend in June.
With good reason.
In what served as a district semifinal preview, the Troy High and Troy Athens softball teams met Wednesday afternoon for the first time in 2013, and in the opening game of a doubleheader, Troy pulled out a 5-4 victory.
“It was a fun game to be part of,” Athens coach Dave Marr said, despite the loss. “I think there were a lot of nerves on both sides, but it was a fun game.”
“We got a little lucky, because we didn’t play very well,” Troy skipper Tom Calnen said. “But we’ll take it. We found a way to win.”
Athens struck first in the game when Haley Zemmer slammed a solo home run in the second inning.
But the Colts answered right back with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second.
Athens tied it at 2-2 in the third, but Troy scored twice in the fourth and once more in the fifth, eventually taking a 5-3 lead into the seventh inning.
Then things got interesting.
The Red Hawks put runners on first and second with nobody out, eventually chasing Cori Mittelbrun from the circle after six strong innings of work.
Freshman Taylor Schmidt came in and struck out the first batter she faced.
Calnen then order an intentional walk on Zemmer to load the bases.
Sam Stosiak followed that with another walk, making the game 5-4, but Schmidt then struck out the next two batters, ending the drama with the bases loaded.
“Give her credit,” Marr said. “She’s a freshman that came in in a big situation and did what she had to do.”
Sally Muller finished the game with two hits for Troy, including a two-run single.
Jesse Pappas added two more RBI with a sacrifice bunt.
Mittelbrun earned the win, allowing five hits and striking out seven.
Lauren Genereau had a double for Athens, and Erica Siismets reached base three times in the loss.
Both coaches said there was plenty to take from the game, considering they will meet again in just a few weeks come playoff time.
“A lot of lessons learned,” Calnen said with a smile. “We weren’t at our best, but the girls dug in and found a way to get one. Games like this can only help when it realty matters.”
“You take notes and you see what you did and what you could have done,” Marr said. “There was a lot to take from this.”
In the second game of the afternoon, Troy won 5-0.
With the sweep, the Colts improve to 17-3, while Athens falls to 10-6-1.