The Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs started their fast-pitch softball season in style on Monday - blanking Aquinas 15-0 in a mercy-rule game that saw the visitors held to just two hits by Thomson pitchers Chelsea Reeves and Amber Overton.
"It's great to get the season off with a win," said Thomson High School Head Coach Jason Osborn. "It's always nice when you can win and a little sweeter when it happens in a tournament that your team is hosting. I was real proud of the way we hit and played defense."
Prior to Thomson playing on Monday, the Washington-Wilkes Lady Tigers defeated Aquinas 14-3. The three-day Thomson High School Invitational Tournament ended yesterday (Wednesday). Stories about Thomson's two other games from the tourney will be featured in next week's edition of The McDuffie Mirror.
The Lady Bulldogs wasted no time establishing a lead against Aquinas. The team erupted for five runs in the top half of the first inning and then came right back in the second, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven more runs.
Freshman third baseman Hannah Wilson, a transfer student from Briarwood Academy, got things started by smashing a lead-off double down the right field line. She later moved to third base on an infield single by senior shortstop Casey Brooks. Both Wilson and Brooks later raced home when Gloria Rowland managed to reach first base by an errant throw committed by the Aquinas catcher. The inning continued as senior first baseman Mary Catherine Finnerty drew a walk.
Rowland eventually scored to make it a 3-0 game on a RBI sacrifice fly to center field by junior catcher Whitney Hillman. Finnerty eventually scored, too, on another throwing miscue.
Second baseman Nichole Usry kept the inning alive, drawing a walk before eventually scoring on a RBI single hit hard into center field by Heather Shivers.
Reeves, Thomson's starting pitcher, took care of Aquinas in order in the bottom of the first.
And suddenly, the Lady Bulldogs were back at bat, waging another assault against Aquinas.
In the top of the second, Thomson blew the game wide open. They managed to collect seven more runs on five hits. Those collecting the hits included: Rowland, Hillman, Brooks, Reeves and Usry. All of the hits were singles with the exception of Usry, who hit a line drive double up the middle to drive in two runs.
In the third, the Lady Bulldogs scored three more runs on four more hits. The hits were delivered by Wilson, Finnerty, Natasha Seals, a double and Liz Jenkins.
Defensively, Thomson made several outstanding plays.
Left fielder Chelsea Jones made a catch in the second inning and threw the ball in the air to Hillman to prevent Aquinas from scoring. Seals, meanwhile, made a nice underhand catch in center field, while Jenkins made a nice catch of a ball in left field after spelling Jones.