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Royal blue player/coach Bob Thomson had a simple explanation for his team’s success in the first game of the Huntsville Senior Softball postseason tournament.

“It’s tournament time, we’re turning it on. Tournament time,” he said. “We’re finally hitting our groove.”

Thomson had four hits as royal blue beat green 18-14 on Oct. 19 at field 2 in Brahan Spring Park. They play in the five-team, 55-and-over Rockets league. In the double-elimination tournament, this was a matchup between the fourth-seeded royal blue against the No. 5 green.

Thomson went 4-for-4 with a double, four runs batted in and two runs scored for royal blue (8-15). Mike Keyser and Stan Sillivant also had four hits apiece. Jim Smelser, Jerry Bevel and winning pitcher Jim “Hitman” Myers had three hits apiece. Mark Wilbourn had two hits with a three-run double and four RBIs. Jorge Marin added two hits.

On defense royal blue used a shift which put their fielders in the right place against the green hitters. Left fielder Wilbourn made two assists, one to second base and one to first.

“Those guys have got good arms out there (in the outfield),” Thomson said. “We’ve seen them (the green hitters) all year so we suspect we know where they’re going to hit the ball. They fool us every now and then but tonight they didn’t.”

Third baseman Bevel went 3-for-4 with one RBI.

“We just had key hits,” Bevel said. “We hit the ball this game and played real good defense.”

Tom Fickling went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for green (7-16). Randy Phillippi went 3-for-4 with a double. John Pope, Robert Tolliver and player/coach Jeff Abbott added two hits apiece. Abbott took the loss.

“We were short-handed and our guys played really well but our hits just did not fall the last three innings,” Abbott said. “And we really missed Scott Landers and Buck Buchanan with their injuries. But it was a good game. Good game tonight by the royal blue.”

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