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Lady Bulldogs win THS Invitational Tourney

What they lacked in hitting, they made up for on defense.

And as a result, the Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs walked away with a 2-0 win over the Washington-Wilkes Lady Tigers in fast-pitch softball action Monday afternoon. Additionally, the Lady Bulldogs also took home the first place trophy for winning their own host tournament, which included two other schools, Aquinas and Burke County.

Thomson was the only team to go undefeated in the Thomson High School Invitational Tournament, which began last week and ended with the championship game on Monday.

"This is what we wanted," Thomson Head Coach Jason Osborn told his players after the championship win. "We set out to win this tournament, and that's what we did. We didn't hit the ball as well as we've been doing, but there's going to be days like that. We'll just have to work on it. I guarantee we will get better. We're going to grow offensively and defensively every day."

The Lady Bulldogs were to have traveled to Washington on Wednesday for another game against the Lady Tigers.

As for Monday's championship game between the two teams, Thomson's only two runs came in the bottom of the first inning on two hits - both infield singles.

Freshman third baseman Hannah Wilson reached on a throwing error by the Washington-Wilkes shortstop before stealing second base. She later moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt single by senior shortstop Casey Brooks.

Wilson later scored when Coach Osborn called for a double-steal, which allowed Brooks to get to second base. She eventually scored on a RBI infield single by catcher Whitney Hillman, which was just out of reach of the second baseman.

From that point on, it became a pitcher's duel between Thomson sophomore pitcher Chelsea Reeves and Lady Tigers' pitcher Cayla Gilland.

Reeves, now 4-0 on the season, allowed the Lady Tigers five hits, struck out two batters and walked one. Gilland, meanwhile, gave up just two hits and recorded no strikeouts or walks.

"I play each game like it's a close ball game," Reeves said after the game.

One of the plays of the game turned out to come on the defensive side. Trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Tigers placed a couple of runners on the base path with just one out. As one of their runners was attempting to advance to third base, however, Hillman quickly noticed what was happening and fired the ball to Wilson to get the lead runner.

The next batter singled, too, but was left stranded when Thomson second baseman Nichole Usry threw to senior first baseman Mary Catherine Finnerty to complete the third out and end the threat. Defensively, Wilson was responsible for making seven put outs on throws to first base.

In last Saturday's game against the Burke County Lady Bears, the Lady Bulldogs had no troubles, whatsoever. They won the game 15-3 - marking the first time that they have been scored on in nearly three games.

One of the big catches of the season was made by Thomson right fielder Gloria Rowland. At bat, Rowland went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs. Usry collected two hits, including a double and collected a RBI, while Hillman walked four consecutive times - the last time getting an RBI in the process.

Again, Reeves was the winning pitcher, while Amber Overton collected the save.

In another game against Burke County last week, Thomson won 15-0. Ten of their runs were scored in the first inning.

Web posted on Thursday, August 23, 2007

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