Two different Columbia County fast-pitch softball teams proved more than the Thomson girls' team could handle last week at Sweetwater Park near Thomson.
It all began last Tuesday night with Thomson being shutout 9-0 at the hands of the Evans team - their second loss of the summer to the same team. The first game between the two teams resulted in a 4-3 loss for the Thomson team, who is coached by Jason Osborn, Bennie Lee Hester and Jason Brooks.
In the game against coach Mike Leverett's Harlem team last Wednesday night, Thomson suffered a heartbreaking 8-7 loss. The loss was Thomson's third of the summer and their second one in as many nights.
Against Harlem, Thomson had led 6-5 going into the last inning. But in the top of the fourth, Harlem struck for three runs to go up, 8-6. It marked the second time in the game that Harlem had led. They opened up a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first, before Thomson struck for four runs in the bottom of that same inning.
Down by a couple of runs going into the bottom of the fourth, the Thomson team managed to load the bases with no outs and mounted what appeared would be an exciting come-from-behind victory.
As quickly as the rally began, it ended.
It all began when shortstop Hannah Wilson, the leadoff batter, was hit by a pitch thrown from Harlem relief pitcher Brittany Newsome, a rising senior. Wilson previously had singled in her first two trips to the plate.
She later advanced to second base when pitcher Chelsea Reeves reached on a walk. Wilson eventually scored when right fielder Gloria Rowland's ground ball was misplayed by the Harlem second baseman. That cut Harlem's lead to 8-7.
Catcher Whitney Hillman was walked for the second time in the game to load the bases for Thomson with still no outs. Chelsea Jones, who had played left field most of the game for Thomson before Liz Jenkins spelled her, was called upon to pinch run for Reeves.
With Jones on third, Rowland on second and Natasha Seals on first as the pinch runner for Hillman, it looked as though the Thomson team would have no problem producing another run that would at least tie the game.
As it turned out, such wasn't to be.
Jones got tagged out in a rundown attempting to steal home. Nichole Usry, who had earlier driven in a pair of runs with a triple to right field, later struck out. Center fielder Heather Shivers, who had a RBI double in the first, hit a soft grounder to the pitcher for what turned out to be the game-ending third out.
Reeves was the losing pitcher of record against Harlem. She allowed eight runs on seven hits, struck out two batters and walked three.
In the game against Evans, pitcher Amber Overton suffered the loss. She allowed nine runs on eight hits, struck out five batters and walked two.
Thomson managed only four hits against Evans. Wilson collected a pair of the hits, while Usry and Seals each had a single.