When the Troy softball team began their season, the Trojans knew that they had some obstacles to overcome. Not the least of which was the switch to a new league, which included some added travel to play against less familiar opponents. Troy rose to the challenge and, despite a single loss to league runner-up Wellsboro, cruised through the new league to win the NTL West Championship.
The Trojans benefited greatly from a nice mix of underclassmen, but there was no doubt who the leaders of this team were throughout the season. Coach Brian Canfield credits his senior co-captains for stepping up and assuming leadership roles.
”This team was led by Hannah Jackson, Cecilia Morse and Katie Jackson. They provided great leadership to keep this team focused and improving.”
The three seniors were each honored with a selection to the NTL West All-Star Team. Katie Jackson led the Trojans with a .442 batting average, and was tops on the team with 23 hits and 19 runs scored.
Morse was second on the team with a .369 average and had 17 hits and 11 RBI.
Hannah Jackson, Troy’s ace in the pitcher’s circle, threw 83 innings for the 15-6 Trojans. She surrendered only 23 earned runs on the season while striking out 105 batters. Hannah also batted .333 for Troy, with 14 runs scored.
Also named to the NTL West first team were sophomore Kayla Stephani (.368, 18 RBI) and freshman Faith Ceely (.365, 14 RBI).
The Trojans had five girls named to the second team, including juniors Kelly Bridgham (.317, 11 RBI), Tiffani Mattocks (.240, 18 Runs) and Kara Schucker (.303, 9 RBI). Schucker also pitched 25 innings for the Trojans, surrendering only 5 earned runs and striking out 13.
Freshmen Kelsey Bristol (.261, 11 Runs) and Brooke Mattocks (.343, 9 RBI) were also named to the second team.
While Coach Canfield acknowledges how hard it will be to replace his senior leaders, he is confident in his underclassmen.
”The good news is that there are 15 returning players who hopefully can continue to improve their skills and be even better next year.”
Coach Canfield points to a loaded group of 9th graders who will be looked upon to continue to contribute to the Trojans next season.
”This year's freshmen class had 9 players, with many athletic girls who performed well in learning new skills, as well as new positions.”
Canfield knows that replacing a pitcher who threw more than 70 percent of the Trojans’ total innings will be a focus point going into next season.
“Pitching will no doubt be a key for next year's team, and Hannah will be difficult to replace, but there are several pitchers returning who could take it to the next level.”
The Trojans successful Championship season earned them a #3 seed in the District IV Class AA playoffs. After defeating NTL West–rival Wellsboro in the second round, Troy fell to Mifflinburg in the semi-finals.
With all of the shuffling between leagues that the NTL is unfortunately experiencing currently, we are unsure if Troy’s shift to the West was a one-year occurrence or if they return again next season. Either way, the Trojans will be a favorite to contend for another championship, whether it is with the teams from the West, or with perennial NTL East-power Northeast Bradford.
Congratulations to Coach Canfield, his staff and the entire Troy softball team on their championship performance this season.