THS overcomes loss, wins area

Published 9:50 pm Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thorsby's Josie Adams (44) is greeted at home plate by her teammates after hitting the second of her home runs during Thursday's area tournament.

Host Thorsby staved off elimination in three consecutive games Thursday to win its softball area tournament.

Billingsley had won only two games all season—both coming over the same opponent, Autaugaville—but defeated both Isabella (7-2) and Thorsby (6-5) in its first two tournament games.

THS stayed alive by defeating Isabella, 13-3, but still needed two straight wins over Billingsley to win the tournament.

The Rebels won them 6-4 and 6-3, the second game behind the complete game performance of pitcher Keela Lucas, who had never before pitched a complete varsity game.

“We had our heads down at first [after losing to Billingsley], but we knew what we had to do,” Thorsby assistant coach Holly Cleveland Matson said. “We worked good as a team today.”

Both Thorsby and Billingsley will advance to the regional tournament May 13-14 at Troy University.

BHS jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning of the championship game on a double by Payton Wallace that scored Kim Lawrence and Hannah Horton.

Thorsby struck in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Josie Adams—who hit two home runs on the day—led off with a single and advanced when Haley McKinnon reached base on an error and Savannah Bice singled.

Both Adams and McKinnon—Thorsby’s lone senior playing in her final home game—scored on wild pitches.

Haley Barnett hit into a fielder’s choice and scored the third run of the inning on a sacrifice bunt by Lucas.

Taylor McManus—Thorsby’s usual pitcher who pitched all of her team’s first three tournament games—followed Lucas with a single to score Kelly Nord, and McManus scored herself on a Christian Niece single.

Billingsley cut into the lead in the top of the fifth when a groundout by Summer Gaither plated Anna Asbury, who had led off with a single.

But Thorsby got the run back in the sixth when McManus scored on a wild pitch, and Lucas closed it out.

Gaither pitched all of Billingsley’s tournament games. In the last one, she struck out four in six innings.

Lucas scattered 11 hits and one walk over seven innings, striking out five.