Lady Warriors’ run at state ends
So close, yet so far away.
Six simple words that perfectly sum up Thompson softball’s efforts in the 6A State Softball Championships, as they fell to Baker in an elimination game, 5-2.
The Lady Warriors started off the game strong, drawing three straight walks in the bottom of the first to load the bases with one out, but a double play ended the scoring chance. Pitcher Haley Crumpton kept the Honeybees off the board early, retiring seven of the first eight batters she faced.
Thompson was the first team to strike, as Alexis Gregory scored on a Crumpton double after being hit by a pitch and then Staci Roberson scored on a passed ball, giving the Lady Warriors a 2-0 advantage.
Slowly but surely, however, Baker inched back into the game. A three-run top of the fourth gave the Honeybees a 3-2 lead.
The two squads swapped scoreless innings through the fifth and sixth, as the Honeybees tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh to make it 5-2.
Just as it seemed the season was over, the Lady Warriors mounted a charge in the bottom of the seventh, as Rebecca Victory opened the inning with a single. Alexis Gregory was then hit by a pitch, sending her to first and moving Victory into scoring position with no outs.
Staci Roberson then hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Victory being thrown out at third, but moved Gregory into scoring position with one out. Haley Crumpton then stepped into the box, and was promptly hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Ashleigh Short.
Short then hit into a fielder’s choice, which led to Crumpton being out at second, but Short appeared to beat the throw at first in a close play. She was ruled out, however, ending the come back and Thompson’s season.
Head Coach Jake Parker said the call wasn’t a very big issue in his eyes.
“It was a judgement (call),” he said. “It’s tough to end the season like that. The girls play 50-something games a year, and then have it end like that is kind of tough. We just have to make opportunities at the beginning of the game.”
Parker said he was proud of the level the team, especially the seniors, played.
“I think we just ran out of gas,” he said. “We had a great run, it was a good learning experience to know what you have to do to get here. Our seniors set the bar for us to get back here. It’s been nine years since Thompson softball has been to Montgomery, hopefully we can change that around.”