OAKLEAF – In the Thursday night match up between Ridgeview and Oakleaf softball, it was a guarantee that a Thompson would win the game.
Taking sibling rivalry to another dimension, Oakleaf Head Coach Christina Thompson would take on her brother, Ridgeview Head Coach Casey Thompson. The siblings would just add another dimension to the already tense night. Also in the dugouts were Oakleaf assistant coach Rob Thompson, the dad, and
After a heartbreaker 9-8 loss just five nights prior to the Atlantic Coast Stingrays, the Knights were ready for some jousting and home runs were the weapon of choice as the Knights got two dingers from Jaeda McFarland and one from Baylee Goddard as the family outing turned disastrous for Casey Thompson very quickly.
“We never like to lose” said Christina Thompson. “Even when we win, we try to find things to get better on. That’s what it is about. Win every inning and improve every game. Last week we didn’t have it together.”
The Panthers tried starting a fire early but left one runner on the bases in the top of the first with no score.
In their first appearance at the plate, the Knights took out some pent-up frustration in their first at-bats and continued pounding away all night. The message was clear when in that first opportunity, the Knights took two balls out of the park for a quick 3-0 lead before the Panthers were even fully warmed up. Later in the fourth, again a ball was launched over the fence for three homers on the evening on the Knights way to a confident 8-0 home victory to put the team back in their winning ways.
After Katie Kistler lead off with a walk, then put herself in scoring position as she stole second on the first pitch to McFarland, McFarland took the fourth pitch and launched it over the right field fence for an RBI homer that put her team up 2-0 before the game ball even had a mark on it.
Seeing the Panthers were wounded and the fast balls Panthers ace Pitcher Brittany Michael was teeing up, Goddard joined the party with her own fence boomer over left field that almost ended up inside the snack bar. The Knights would put two more on base before the Panthers closed out the inning, but the early three-run hole had the momentum clearly shifted inside of the Knight’s dugout.
“I’m selfish. I want a run every inning, I want to win every inning, so if they got two, I want us to get three,” said Christina Thompson. “If they got nothing, we’re going to put up at least one. That’s out mantra; dominate every inning.”
The Panthers countered with two on, but left them on base as the defensive machine of Oakleaf tightened its grip. In their second at bats, Oakleaf’s Goddard again stayed in left field, making her way to first base with a hard grounder. Jaycie Brookshire followed suite with a deep shot that ended up at the fence, sending Goddard all the way around to home with an RBI double, 4-0. The Panthers would put a couple more runners on but were unsuccessful as the bottom of the fourth came around. At the plate once again, McFarland would rocket another fastball to deep center, out of the park for score number five.