Story by: Griffin Pritchard | Publisher
Photos by: Brian Tannehill | Director of Photography
TALLASSEE — Ella Thrash has to stand on her in her spikes, on her tiptops, on an upward slope to break the five-feet-tall mark. But in her last at-bat on senior night, the senior Tiger put every square inch of her body behind a mighty swing and sent a Reeltown offering screaming over the outfield wall.
“I’ve never hit a grand slam before, this was only my second home run,” said Thrash after the game. “It was very exciting. I always go up there with the mindset of ‘if it’s a strike, just hit it.’ I’m not trying to look for a walk or to take the easy way out. I want to hit the ball if at all possible. When I hit it, I could tell it was gone.”
The senior made contact and sprinted down to first like she’s been coached to do, turned toward second and (upon realizing just how far she’d hit the ball) had a moment of pure, leaping excitement where she jumped “probably six feet high” and celebrated as her teammates piled out of the dugout and the fans rose to their feet and “you dropped the bomb on me .. baby ..” began playing over the stadium’s speakers.
It was quite a moment for a senior on senior night.
“I had a lot of fun tonight, I think everybody else did too,” said Thrash. “Some of us view Reeltown as our really big opponent, so a win like this was really fun.”
Her home run – a grand slam – was part of a seven run fourth that ultimately ended the game.
The Tigers put two more on and then Lexi Love – also making the most out of senior night – turned on a Rebels offering and put it just short of the firstbase dugout over on the baseball field that sits adjacent to the home of the softball Tigers.
The longball was the story of the night for Tallassee. After falling behind 2-0, Tallassee answered in the bottom of the second.
Brooke Royster barreled up a pitch and put it over centerfield to plate three runs and give Tallassee a one-run lead that just kept growing.
Royster: “I asked my teammates where she was throwing the ball and they said first pitch, look for it. She did and I hit it. I knew it was gone. It felt good.”
Tallassee – in the win – plated 18 runs on 11 hits and capitalized on a pair of Reeltown errors.
Alexis Walls picked up the win for the Tigers – working a complete four innings and holding the Rebels to just one hit; a two-run shot in the first by Kenzie Hornsby.
Hornsby scored Bella Studdard.
Studdard, Karlee Cotten and Abi Parker rotated in and out of the circle – to varying degrees of success. Ultimately though, Studdard took the loss.
Belle Haynes roped a pitch into the ally for a double and pushed a run home. Abbie Davis had two hits and two RBIs on the night. Avery Lumpkin had a bases-clearing single that scored three and then Alexis Walls singled to score a run. Seventeen of the Tigers 18 runs were RBIs with Royster, Thrash and Love responsible for a combined 13 runs driven home.
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