The Thompson High softball team opened up the Class 7A Area 5 Tournament on Wednesday by splitting games with Hoover and host Tuscaloosa County.
The loss in the nightcap pushes Thompson into an elimination game on Thursday against Vestavia Hills. That game is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at Tuscaloosa County. The winner will face Tuscaloosa County, with first pitch slated for 5 o’clock.
Tuscaloosa County has already clinched a spot in the regional playoffs. Thompson can do the same if it beats Vestavia Hills, but the Warriors would need a pair of victories to win the area tournament.
Tuscaloosa County 10, Thompson 9
Timely errors and walks were costly in the difficult loss. Tuscaloosa County pushed three runs across in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the win.
Thompson got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first inning. The rally began by Kindall DeRamus reaching on an error. The Warriors followed with successive singles by Lauren Haskins, Allie Miller and Madison Bubel and a double by Kennedy Foote.
The lead grew to 4-1 before Tuscaloosa County exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Warriors used four runs in the sixth inning to take an 8-6 lead. Mikayla Touhey had a two-run single to provide the final two runs of the inning. After the teams traded run in their next two at-bats, Tuscaloosa County found a way to pull out the win.
Thompson had 15 hits, including three each by Haskins and Miller. But a pair of Warrior pitchers combined for 10 walks and the defense committed four errors.
Thompson 5, Hoover 1
Bailey Whitfield battled her way through seven innings in the pitching circle to lead the Warriors to the tournament opening victory. Whitfield scattered nine hits, allowing one run, while striking out three.
Perhaps her best work came when she wiggled out of trouble in the final two innings. The Bucs loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning before Whitfield froze a Hoover bat on a called third strike. In the seventh inning, Hoover’s first two batters reached base but, once again, Whitfield escaped without allowing a run. She was helped in the seventh inning when catcher Bubel threw out a runner attempting to steal third base.
Thompson jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Haskins and a RBI double by Mikayla Touhey. Miller added a RBI single in the third inning and the Warriors scored two more in the fifth inning.