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 dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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