By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Tompkins scored four runs in the first inning and four more in the third inning Friday to eliminate Kempner from the softball playoffs.
Tompkins’ first baseman Mackenzie Brown was a one-woman wrecking crew as she blasted a grand slam home run in the first inning and ended the game with three hits and five RBIs.
“I was 0 for 4 in last night’s game, so I made a few adjustments this afternoon,” Brown said. “I was really early yesterday so today I just made a timing adjustment and tried to hit the ball to right field. The home run pitch was an outside fastball that I waited on and just hit it back from where it was pitched. I like outside pitches so I can get my hands extended to the ball.”
Left fielder Zoe Pruden went 4-4, with three runs scored and three RBIs, as Tompkins advances to the second round of the playoffs for the first time.
Kempner’s Star Ferguson had two of Kempner’s three hits.
“Star is one of our best hitters,” Kempner coach Charity Alford said. “Last year Star was a freshman and she had some things to prove. I just knew she was a pivotal athlete and would produce runs, hits and stolen bases for us. She loves the pressure and even thrives on the pressure. It’s a really cool thing to see.”
Tompkins’ pitcher Sydney Hodge gave up three runs on three hits to earn the complete game win.
“My curve and drop were working tonight. I was just trying to get ground balls and strike outs,” the stoical Hodge said. “I try to keep my emotions out of it and keep a neutral game face. Occasionally my infielders will come into the circle and tell me a joke just to make sure I am loose.”
Kempner ends its season with a 15-10 record.