Warriors open softball season 3-0
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
ALABASTER – The Thompson Warriors softball season started the 2017 season in strong fashion going 3-0 during a tripleheader on Monday, Feb. 20, with wins over McAdory, Moody and Mortimer Jordan in the Thompson Invitational.
It was a strong statement to make for the Warriors as two of the three wins came by one run, showing they have what it takes to pull out a closely contested game early in the season.
Game 1: Thompson 6 McAdory 5
Thompson opened their season with a 6-5 win over McAdory in a four inning affair. McAdory answered first as Bailey Whitfield struggled shaking off the rust early in her first game of the season on the mound.
The Yellow Jackets put up five unanswered runs in the first two innings to take a 5-0 lead and seize control of the game. After struggling to make anything happen on offense in the first two innings, the Warriors finally found their bats in the third and fourth as Whitfield coincidentally found her rhythm on the mound.
Thompson had a long bottom of the third inning that got started by three straight singles before Lauren Haskins tripled to left field to drive in Kendall DeRamus and Kelsey Hutchison. Her triple was followed by a couple of more singles in the inning as the Warriors put up five runs to tie the game heading to the top of the fourth. In all, Thompson had seven hits in the inning.
After an error in the top of the fourth allowed a McAdory baserunner, Whitfield put the next three batters down in order to send it to the bottom half of the inning.
The Warriors used an error, a single and a walk to load the bases with just one out in their turn at the plate. With the game still tied at five, Kennedy Foote singled to left field to drive in DeRamus for the walk off win to start Thompson’s season.
Game 2: Thompson 9 Moody 6
Thompson used a six-run second inning to take down Moody 9-6 in game two of the tripleheader. Madison Plunkett got the start on the mound in this one as she went 3.2 innings giving up seven hits and five runs, two of which were earned runs.
After Foote was hit by a pitch to start the top of the second, Macie Crumpton and Mikayla Touhey had back-to-back singles to load the bases with nobody out and Madison Bubel coming to the plate. Bubel took the fourth pitch of the at bat on a 2-1 count and drove it over the left field wall for a grand slam to put the Warriors up 4-1. Thompson put up two more runs in the inning to take a 6-1 lead.
Over the next three innings, the Blue Devils outscored the Warriors 5-3, but they had built up enough of a lead to hold in to win 9-6 in five innings.
Game 3: Thompson 3 Mortimer Jordan 2
The final game of the triple header was possibly the most exciting at least from a Thompson standpoint as the Warriors won 3-2, with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Haven Rodgers pitched a quality game in the first three innings for the Warriors holding steady as she only gave up four hits and two earned runs. Those two runs were the only two Mortimer Jordan was able to put on the board as Whitfield came in to throw a scoreless fourth and fifth inning.
Thompson’s offense, however, wasn’t clicking as they went into the bottom of the final frame down 2-0.
Touhey started the inning off with a double on the sixth pitch of the at bat to give the Warriors some hope. Bubel added a single immediately after, which was followed by a Plunkett walk to load the bases with no outs. DeRamus was the next batter up and she drilled a triple to center field that cleared the bases, but with Plunkettthrown out at home it was tied at two.
Three pitches into Hutchison’s at bat she laid down a bunt that scored DeRamus for a second walk off of the day.