SETH — Sherman High's softball team won a 2-1 nail-biter versus a tough Tug Valley squad on the strength of All-State pitcher Autumn Thompson's no-hitter.
Sherman High coach Jim Henderson's squads have won eight straight section championships and 11 overall in the 27 years of the program. Henderson has been the only softball coach at Sherman since the inaugural season that includes multiple state tournament trips and Class A state runner-up status in 2017.
"What separates this team from some of our other good teams is from the top to the bottom of the order we can hit the ball hard," he said. "On any given night, a different girl can come up with a big hit for us in a crucial situation."
Henderson prefers to talk about his team as opposed to himself and was excited about the win, which will pit the Lady Tide in a regional tilt with Wahama on the road on Monday, weather permitting.
Each of Sherman's top four hitters had hit homeruns against the Panthers in previous games.
"If we had just taken pitches, they may have just walked our top four hitters," Henderson said. "We didn't have a hit from number five to the bottom of the lineup last night."
After a walk in the first frame, a stolen base and then an error notched the only unearned run by Tug Valley.
Sherman scored their first run in the fourth inning after a walk by Thompson. Kenzi Rinchinch was bunted to second and was eventually driven home. Thompson walked again in the seventh inning and Henderson allowed his prized pitcher to run and she swiped second base and scored when Katlyn Jenkins hit a squib that rolled 10-feet in front of the plate and the play at first was not fielded cleanly and Thompson scored the winning run.
"These seniors when they were freshman they were 14-18 and they were state runners-up as sophomores and finished third last year," he said. They have been used to winning. They are a good group of softball players. We have a good group of underclassmen and we will be a good team next year. All of these girls have been a joy to coach and they are growing every day."
Thompson notched 11 strikeouts on the night.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.