BROOKSVILLE — As the regular season draws to a close, legitimate threats to Hernando Christian's unblemished record are quickly falling by the wayside.
Seven Rivers Christian was considered one of those threats, but in a 12-2 mercy-rule loss Friday afternoon, the Warriors found out what every other Lions opponent knows: These girls are rolling.
HCA (21-0) was coming off Thursday's 12-2 win over Seffner Christian, a solid team in its own right. Ace Kala Thompson had pitched seven innings and knew she would be in line to start against Seven Rivers (9-4) because Ashley McKay, the Lions' second pitcher, was battling a sore back.
If she had difficulties with stamina, Thompson didn't show it. The sophomore starter tossed a complete game without surrendering an earned run, striking out four and walking only two. She gave up only three hits, all singles.
It was the Lions' bats that had trouble getting going. After the Warriors scratched out a couple of unearned runs in the top of the third, the raucous noise in the dugout was clear.
"We've got to wake up and focus at that time," Lions coach Ernie Chatman said. "We became a little more patient at the plate."
The energy led to a big inning. HCA answered with 14 of the 15 batters reaching base. The Lions scored nine runs on five hits, including two from Thompson. She laced a bases-loaded triple and an RBI single in the inning.
All of these fireworks came from a key cog who has slipped into the spot once filled by ace Courtney Riddle, who now pitches for Hernando.
"She's just fit right in," Chatman said of Thompson. "Players complement her, and she complements everyone else. It was a perfect fit."