Thompson softball starts season with two wins and tie

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The 2018 softball season came to a heartbreaking end for the Thompson Warriors well short of their goal after proving themselves as one of the best teams in the state all year, but this season the team is on a mission to redeem that and show they belong amongst the elites.

Hosting the 2019 Thompson Invitational to kick off the season at Veterans Park in Alabaster on Monday, Feb. 18, the Warriors looked the part by taking down Moody 4-0 and Briarwood 11-0 before playing to a 5-5 tie against one of the state’s powerhouses in Prattville to close out the day.

A recap from all three games is below.

Game 1: Thompson 4, Moody 0

Against Moody, the Warriors used a consistent effort putting up runs offensively every other inning, while Heaven Rodgers tossed five next to perfect innings allowing just one hit and giving up three walks, while striking out four to complete a shutout performance in the circle.

Thompson was able to strike first in the game thanks to a two-out rally. After two groundouts, Kennedy Foote was able to draw a walk before back-to-back singles from Grace Robertson and Mikayla Touhey, the latter of which drove in the game’s first run for a 1-0 lead.

After a scoreless bottom half of the first and entire second inning, the next action came in the top of the third.

After Robertson singled on a line drive to the shortstop to advance Haskins to third after she singled earlier in the inning. That was followed by a sac fly to left field from Touhey to put the Warriors up 2-0.

That lead never really felt insurmountable for Moody throughout the game, but that changed in the fifth inning when a double from Lauren Haskins and three straight singles from Foote, Robertson and Touhey led to one run, followed by a sac fly from Makenzie Munroe for a second run.

That all of a sudden made it 4-0 with only the bottom of the fifth to play, and with Rodgers pitching so well, that lead was insurmountable.

Touhey went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBIs to start the season, while Haskins and Robertson both had two hits as well. Robertson added an RBI as did Munroe in a pinch hitter role.

Game 2: Thompson 11, Briarwood 0

Against Briarwood, it was the same story for Thompson, as the Warriors scored in every other inning and got another solid outing in the circle, this time from Eleanor DeBlock.

DeBlock was able to toss another complete-game shutout for the Warriors by allowing just two hits and two walks and striking out six in her five innings of work.

Offensively, the Warriors got off to a much strong start in the top of the first with six consecutive singles, which led to three runs crossing the plate. One of the singles did result in an out, but nonetheless, Thompson had taken a 3-0 lead at the end of the first.

In the top of the third, the Warriors put together their best offensive inning of the day and it started with a leadoff double from Foote. That was followed by an error and a single to make it 4-0 Thompson.

With two outs in the inning, however, is when Thompson made its move. A single to center field by Abby Kellogg brought home both Robertson and Touhey for two runs, before two more singles from DeRamus and Haskins, as well as an error led to a 9-0 lead for the Warriors.

Thompson added the final two runs in the top of the fifth when Haley Kennedy singled to center field, which resulted in both Kellogg and Madison Plunkett scoring.

Foote finished the game 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Touhey and Haskins both had two hits. Haskins added two RBIs, while Touhey put up one RBI. In all, 11 different players picked up a hit for Thompson in the win, while seven had RBIs.

Game 3: Thompson 5, Prattville 5

In the final game the day for Thompson, the Warriors probably played the more consistent of the two teams, but a five-run second inning was all the offense Prattville needed to force a tie in the game.

Thompson had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the fifth inning after a single from Robertson and double from Touhey led off the inning, but a strikeout and two consecutive ground outs ended the threat and the game at 5-5.

The Warriors started the game with some confidence in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a single from DeRamus and a double from Foote, before Robertson singled both home for an early 2-0 advantage.

Prattville answered back in the top of the second with five runs, four of which came with two outs, as the Lions stormed in front for a 5-2 lead.

Thompson spent the rest of the game playing catch up, but it didn’t take long to do that.

The Warriors chipped away at the lead starting in the bottom half of the second thanks to a sac fly making it 5-3.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Thompson got a leadoff single from Lauren Cabiness, followed by an RBI-double from Plunkett to make it 5-4. One batter later, DeRamus stepped back to the plate and hit a hard ground ball to first base, which allowed Plunkett to score after advancing to third on an error by the catcher during DeRamus’ at bat.

Prattville put two runners on in the top of the fifth, but couldn’t bring either home, just as the Warriors did in the bottom half to close the game.

Robertson went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs to lead Thompson, while Plunkett went 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs scored.