PARKERS CHAPEL – Drue Thomas, backed by sparkling defense, shut Fordyce down 4-0 Friday to advance to the championship game of the 2A 8 District Softball Tournament. The Lady Trojans will play in the finals Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Thomas allowed just two hits in seven innings. The senior struck out seven and walked four.
The Lady Trojans played error-free defense, including a few standout plays. Taylor Fortune recorded an unassisted double play in the seventh, snagging a hot line drive off her shoe top at first base before stepping on the bag to double up the runner. Macie Wood made a running catch in centerfield in the sixth and snagged Kendyl Jordan’s fly ball at the fence in the fourth.
Offensively, Parkers Chapel managed seven hits against Fordyce pitcher Lauren Petty, whose defense committed four errors behind her.
The Lady Trojans didn’t get their first hit until the bottom of the fourth, when they scored three runs to break the scoreless tie. Thomas led off with a single and then Kallie Martin singled. Thomas executed a delayed steal of third with Martin advancing to second on the throw. With one out, freshman Madison Arnold stroked a single to center, plating both runs. Ali Looney beat out a bunt single, sending Arnold to third. Looney stole second and Arnold scored from third on the throw down.
The Lady Bugs threatened in the top of the fifth. Mary Helen Crain worked Thomas for a walk. Petty hit a hard grounder to first, but Fortune threw to second to cut down the runner on a force out. Allyssa Crutchfield singled to put runners on second and third with one out. But Thomas bowed her back and struck out Madison Gray looking and Melanie Castillo swinging to end the inning.
The Lady Trojans tacked on a run in the sixth. Arnold reached on an error and Looney lined a single to right. When the ball skidded underneath the fielder’s glove, Arnold raced home but was cut down at the plate on the relay. Looney went to third on the play and scored on Maddie Wylie’s ground ball to second.
That was all the support Thomas needed. The senior faced just three batters in the seventh, helped by the double play.
Looney and Martin both went 2-for-3 for Parkers Chapel.
Fordyce’s Crain was a particular pain for the Lady Trojans, reaching base all three times on a single and two walks.