Wolverines help Region 8 end State Games on winning note

Two full days of softball couldn’t have ended Wednesday on a better note for Polk County head coach Jamie Thompson.

Thompson’s Region 8 squad closed the 2017 Powerade State Games with a 7-4 win over Region 4 in a game played on the campus of UNC Greensboro.

Region 8 opened play early Wednesday with an 8-3 loss to Region 7, a game that Thompson said was the squad’s worst showing of the tournament. But the team rebounded in the afternoon, building a 7-1 lead after four innings.

Part of that offensive outburst – a “no doubt” home run from Polk County’s Karli Wood.

“We put it all together,” Thompson said of the finale. “It was nice to get a win in that last game. I was really glad to see Karli hit that home run.

“The Polk County girls did well and the region did well. I did some research, and I don’t know the last time a Region 8 team won a game. It’s been a while, if ever. There were a lot of good players there.”

In Wednesday’s two games, Polk County rising seniors Haley Fowler and Autumn Owen each finished a combined 3-for-6.

With seven players potentially returning next season, Thompson plans to continue to coach the Region 8 squad and hopes to build it into a gold medal contender. Region 8 lost to eventual gold medalist Region 5 on Tuesday by a lone run, 7-6.

“Talking with some of the board members from the State Games, they said this was the most competitive tournament they’ve seen, top to bottom,” Thompson said. “There were close games all around.

“This was still a young team, and my plan is to do this another two years, to hopefully keep coaching them and to recruit some more players. It was an awesome experience.”