Finish Strong

Tompkins starts season hot, but has bigger goals in mind

Tompkins’ Barbara Olivieri, Skylar Parker, Leanne Veary, Kayla Ruopp and Lauryn Wild. Photo by Chris Brown

Originally appeared on Vype.com

The page has turned and a new chapter began for the Katy Tompkins Lady Falcons soccer team led by head coach Jarrett Shipman.

It was a difficult and motivated off-season for Tompkins after last year’s 0-2 defeat in the 2017 UIL 6A State Championship game against Hendrickson High School.

Now, it is a new year and a new season for Tompkins and they are looking to get back to the same place they were last season — playing in the UIL State Championship game.

Tompkins opened their new year in the Lady Highlander Tournament with a 0-0 tie against The Woodlands. The Falcons then took down Cedar Ridge 4-0 and finished the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Plano East. Sophomore Skylar Parker finished the game with a hat trick (3 goals).

“We are hungry and experienced now coming off last year’s defeat in the state championship. I am excited about this season and our goal is to just leave everything out there on the field,” Shipman said.

Tompkins will be an experienced team this season with several of their players returning from last year’s state finalist team including senior captain, Kayla Ruopp.

“After last year’s defeat in state, we became motivated to get back, but this time to win it all,” Ruopp said. “Everyone on the team is motivated and we are giving it our all, and especially with this being my last year playing competitive soccer, so I know I will.”

Tompkins kicks off the I-10 Shootout with a first round matchup in the “Falcon Bracket” against Clear Springs on Thursday, Jan. 11 at Tompkins HS.

Tompkins knows what it will take to get to the 2018 UIL State Championship game, but the real question that is yet to be answered; do they now know what it takes to win it all?

Keion Cage is a student at Tompkins High School and a member of the VYPE U Internship program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Intern, click here. 

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Houston's winning streak is up to nine

Astros secure series over Orioles as winning streak continues

Zack Greinke provided another long outing for his team on Tuesday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After continuing their recent dominance with a lopsided win over this Orioles team on Monday in the rain-plagued opener, the Astros eyed number nine in a row if they could do it again on Tuesday. Though not as one-sided, the Astros would get the victory to secure the series win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 1

Astros' Record: 45-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (8-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jorge Lopez (2-9)

A tame start for Houston's offense

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Myles Straw started the scoring with two outs in the top of the second, sneaking a ball off and over the left-field wall just out of the grasp of Austin Hays for a solo homer to put Houston ahead 1-0. After Baltimore tied the game in the third, the game remained gridlocked 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when Chase McCormick would reach on a one-out infield single then raced around to score on a Myles Straw RBI single, putting Houston back in front 2-1.

Greinke pitches into the eighth

Over that span, Zack Greinke was getting efficient innings against Baltimore's lineup. He allowed that trying run in the third, which came after a one-out walk moved to third on a single, then scored on a sac fly. That was one of his few moments with runners in scoring position, as he erased a single in the first, a single in the fourth, and a double in the seventh to maintain the new 2-1 lead.

The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth but came away with only one run of insurance on a McCormick sac fly, making it 3-1 as Greinke returned to the mound to continue working. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next batter before Dusty Baker would come out to get him as the left-handed portion of the lineup was due up and a better match for Brooks Raley, who had been warming. Greinke's final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 91 P.

Astros make it nine in a row

Raley completed the eighth for Greinke with two strikeouts to strand the inherited runner. With it still a two-run game in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save. He erased a two-out single to finish things off, giving Houston their ninth win in a row and securing the series with a chance at the sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be another 6:05 PM Central start time on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore to face the Astros, while Jose Urquidy (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will start for Houston.

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