After finishing fifth at state as 9-10-year-olds two years ago, New Albany’s 11-12 softball All-Stars wanted a good start at Thursday’s state finals in Lebanon.
They got it.
New Albany scored 11 runs on 16 hits en route to an 11-1 win over Southport in the tournament opener.
“We had a little bit of nerves, but not as bad as last time [we went to state],” New Albany manager Darrell Thomas said. “We had more nerves in the championship at district [on Tuesday].”
In the top of the first inning, New Albany scored three runs and never trailed. The All-Stars added a pair of runs in the second and third to take an early 7-1 lead.
“We started out on fire,” Thomas said. “We had pretty good sticks.”
Camri Thomas did the rest. The New Albany starting pitcher tossed a complete-game, two-hitter and struck out four Southport batters. Like in Tuesday’s 5-2 district championship win over Silver Creek, Thomas didn’t walk a single batter.
“She pitched well,” her father and manager, Darrell Thomas said. “Her changeup was working great. She used that a lot today. She kept them off balance, really.”
The task appears to get tougher on Saturday. New Albany will face South Bend Southeast, which was the state runner-up two years ago in the 9-10 division. They are then scheduled to meet Bedford on Sunday.
The tournament semifinals and championship are both held Tuesday.
11-12 SOFTBALL STATE FINALS
NEW ALBANY 11, SOUTHPORT 1
New Albany 322 103—11 16 2
Southport 001 000— 1 2 2
W — Camri Thomas. L — Madelyn Johnson. 2B — Bre Schoenfeld (N).
Records — New Albany 1-0, Southport 0-1.
11-12 SOFTBALL STATE TOURNAMENT
Thursday, July 11
New Albany 11, Southport 1
Saturday, July 13
New Albany vs. South Bend Southeast, 4 p.m.
Sunday, July 14
New Albany vs. Bedford, 2 p.m.
Monday, July 15
New Albany vs. District 6, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16
No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 seed, 2 p.m.
No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.