Prince George scored 11 runs in the first three innings and shut out J.R. Tucker 11-0 at home in the first round of the Region 5B playoffs Friday.
Royals pitcher Laura Thompson recorded 13 strikeouts in the victory.
“I knew that I had to come out strong because my team really depends on me on the mound,” said Thompson, who has pitched the entire season for the Royals (19-0). “Just to come out and throw strikes was really important to me.”
Thompson allowed only two hits and two walks, and she also had a single and scored two runs against the Tigers (9-11).
Sarah Thompson, Caitlin Abernethy and Kyla Nase also performed well at the plate for Prince George.
Sarah Thompson went 3 for 4, with a triple, two RBIs and three runs. Abernethy chipped in with a double, one run and one RBI, and Nase knocked in three runs off a triple.
“We’re not a big home run-hitter team, we’re a team who can hit base hits, and that’s what we did tonight and what we need to be doing,” Laura Thompson said.
Prince George coach Nealan Chandler said the key to the win was coming out strong and scoring early.
“You know we played early in the game, and had a little letdown at the end of the game,” Chandler said in reference to the Royals’ scoreless last innings. “But (Tucker) picked up their game at the end, so just getting through the first round of regionals is good.”
Chandler said his team was only able to prepare for regionals in the past week because of rain, so practices have been scarce.
“We focused on a few things hitting-wise and defensive things that we used tonight, and I’m really happy with that,” he said.
The Royals will face Glen Allen in the semifinals next week. The Jaguars knocked the Royals out of the regional tournament last season.
“We’re definitely going to have to bring it,” Chandler said.
J.R. Tucker 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
Prince George 533 000 x — 11 17 0
Collins 5.2, Hoover 0.1. Thompson 7.
Highlights: PG - Laura Thompson 2 for 5, 2 runs; Caitlin Abernethy 2 for 4, run, RBI, 2B; Sarah Thompson 3 for 4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs, 3B; Kyla Nase 2 for 4, run, 3 RBIs, 3B.
Records: J.R. Tucker 9-11; Prince George 19-0