Thompson softball earns spot in Regionals
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
ALABASTER – The No. 4 ranked Thompson Warriors became the first Shelby County team to advance to the Regional round of the softball playoffs after two victories over Hoover and Tuscaloosa County on Tuesday, April 30, in the area tournament.
The host Warriors didn’t lose an area game during the regular season and that continued in their first two games of the area tournament, as their dominance continued with wins of 7-3 over the Bucs and 11-1 over the Wildcats to improve to 36-3-1 on the season.
With the two victories, the Warriors not only advanced to the area tournament championship on Wednesday, May 1, where they would have to lose two games to lose the title, but they also clinched one of the top two spots from the area that advances to Regionals to cement that their season will continue in the postseason.
In the game against Hoover, Thompson came out of the gates flying with seven combined runs in the first two innings, before holding on for a 7-3 victory.
The Warriors got the scoring started in the bottom of the first when Lauren Haskins blasted a solo homer to left field to put them on top 1-0 through an inning of play.
Then, an inning later, the real damage happened.
Another home run, this time a two-run shot from Makenzie Munroe, put Thompson on top 3-0 with one out in the frame.
Following a second out, the Warriors used a two-out rally to add to their lead starting with a double from Ella Pate. Following that hit, Kindall DeRamus, Haskins, Grace Robertsos and Mikayla Touhey each hit RBI singles to drive in four more runs to put Thompson on top 7-0.
Hoover tried to battle back with one run in the third and two in the fourth, but got no closer the rest of the way.
Thompson was led by Haskins, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. DeRamus, Robertson, Touhey and Munroe all added one hit with at least one RBI.
Madison Holtzapfel got the start in the circle and allowed two hits and three runs with one strikeout. Eleanor DeBlock then finished off the final 2 2/3 innings allowing one hit and striking out two.
While the first game of the tournament was successful enough, the second game against two seed Tuscaloosa County was more impressive, as Thompson pulled away for an 11-1 mercy-rule victory.
The Warriors posted nine combined runs in the first three innings before tacking on one in the fourth and one in the fifth to pull off the 10-run victory in five innings.
The only run given up was in the top of the fifth, but other than that the pitching of Holtzapfel and DeBlock was solid again. They combined to allow just four hits in the game.
At the plate, DeRamus had a team-high in hits again with three, including two RBIs and three runs scored. Haskins and Touhey each added two hits with two RBIs, while Robertson had one hit with two RBIs. Abby Kellogg and Pate each added one hit with one RBI apiece.
Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.