SALINA ó The Thomas More Prep-Marian softball team opened the season Thursday with a pair of wins over Salina Sacred Heart, 11-5 and 12-1.
TMP (2-0) got going early in Game 1, scoring two runs in the first inning on a two-run homer by Katelyn Zimmerman. Sacred Heart scored a run in the bottom of the first and two more in the second to take a brief 3-2 lead, but the Monarchs answered by scoring two runs in each the third, fourth and fifth innings then three in the seventh to run away with the victory.
Alison Helget earned the complete-game win in Game 1, allowing four earned runs and striking out five batters.
Game 2 was never close, TMP scoring three runs in the first and four in the second to lead 7-0 after an inning and a half. Sacred Heartís lone run came in the bottom of the second, which the Monarchs followed with five more runs to reach the run-rule in the fifth inning.
Bailey Lacy pitched the complete second game, earning the win behind her seven strikeouts and no earned runs allowed.
The Monarchs, playing in just their second season since suspending the program after the 2010 season, will play again Tuesday at Dodge City High School. TMPís home opener will be Thursday against Garden City High School, the first of six home dates this season.
Austin is a native of Wichita and a graduate of Wichita State's Elliott School of Communication. The former editor of WSU's student newspaper and two-time Kansas Collegiate Journalist of the Year, Austin is an avid sports fan and passionate photographer. Follow him on Twitter: @austin_colbert.†