Prince George’s Laura Thompson began playing T-ball when she was 6 years old.
In 2011, after joining a recreational softball team that was in need of a pitcher, Thompson started her career in the circle.
“I stepped up, and started to learn how to pitch,” Thompson said. But standing just 5 feet, Thompson was told repeatedly she would not have a successful pitching career.
“I had a lot of people tell me I wouldn’t be a good pitcher because of my size, but I didn’t give up,” she said. Thompson said she encourages younger players to persevere and not give up on themselves.
“Without trust in yourself, you won’t be able to grow, so you have to believe you’ll get better and never give up,” said Thompson said.
For Thompson, that perseverance led to her becoming the star pitcher for Prince George. She’s become a force to be reckoned with. This season, Thompson finished with a 0.80 ERA, allowing only 16 earned runs, and threw 267 strikeouts.
The Royals finished 23-1, their final victory clinching the school’s first state championship in the sport.
“It’s still unreal, honestly. I mean, we really did it,” Thompson said. “All season, our goal was to make it (to the championship), and I think it shows all the hard work put in by the whole team.
“I truly enjoyed playing with the rest of the Prince George team. Those girls mean a lot to me, and this season we always said ‘play as a family,’ which is what we did. All of our futures are big.”
Thompson is one of three triplets, along with her sister, Sarah, and brother, Andrew. Sarah played with the Royals as well this year and also played an integral role in the championship win.
Laura said she loves playing with her sister. “It’s a great opportunity for us to grow together, and a way to grow our friendship.”
Laura and Sarah will attend Concord University in the fall and continue their athletic careers. Laura said her hope is to continue her winning streak and potentially win another championship.
Outside of softball, Thompson enjoys singing and was a part of the school choir in middle and high school.
She said her selection as All-Metro player of the year is thanks in part to her support network.
“I would just like to take the time to thank all of the people who have helped me grow and develop not only as an athlete, but as a person,” she said. “I would not be the player I am without my teammates, my coaches and my family.
“I definitely would not the be pitcher I am today without Chris Cauthrone, my pitching coach, who has been teaching me new things since middle school. I am thankful for Roger Riggle and the DefyGENETICS family, who always push me to surpass my limits.
“I am truly grateful for all of these individuals because they believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.”