TROY • Junior left fielder Rachel Sullivan is at it again for Troy Buchanan.
As a sophomore, Sullivan heated up and was an integral part of the Trojans' run to the Class 4 state title.
If her start in the Class 4 District 8 tournament is any indication, she could play a key role in any postseason plans Troy has this time around.
Sullivan was 4-for-4 and drove in three runs in top-seeded Troy’s 10-0, five-inning win over Fort Zumwalt North in a semifinal game Thursday.
“It’s been good timing, I guess, and it feels really good,” Sullivan said. “I was just keeping my head on the ball, and that helps.”
Sullivan singled in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings. Her RBI single in the fifth ended the game.
“Last year, she started getting better and better with her swing,” Troy coach Lance Richardson said. “This year, the same thing is happening again.”
Sullivan and senior catcher Morgan Oliver each provided RBI hits in the first as Troy took a 2-0 lead.
The RBI for Oliver was her 66th this season, which is a MSHSAA single-season record.
Not that it matters to her.
“I play my game, I have fun and I worry about everyone else,” Oliver said. “I focus on just trying to get hits and trying to get people around. If I didn’t have any (RBIs) and we won, that’d be fine by me.”
The offensive attack for Troy (23-4, No. 4 in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools softball rankings) included five doubles, two of which came from Nicole Schulte, whose two-run double in the fifth set up Sullivan’s game-winner.
While Sullivan and the Trojans offense was red-hot, Troy pitcher Liz Wiegand was busy shutting down the Panthers. She only allowed six hits, walked one and hit a batter while striking out three.
“It feels great to be able to count on the girls offensively and defensively,” Wiegand said. “Being able to do it myself is nice, too.”
Abby Hlavaty suffered the loss for North (20-6, No. 5 LS). She allowed nine runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.
“We didn’t have any timely hitting today," North coach Steve Siebert said. “The team I have, we’ve got to hit to win, and we didn’t do that today.”
Troy will now face Timberland, the district’s No. 3 seed, in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Troy defeated Timberland 8-5 on Sept. 10 and 5-2 10 days later.
Timberland (17-9) rolled to an 8-0 win over rival Holt (17-10, No. 10 LS) in the other District 8 semifinal Thursday.
“As long as we keep playing good ball, I don’t have a preference (of opponent),” Wiegand said. “We just have to play our game.”