Thompson signs with Doge City
Rachael Thompson has no plans to get the heck out of Dodge.
As proof, she recently signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Dodge City Community College.
Thompson, who plays third base for MHS, participated this past summer in a softball showcase in Salina. Howie Smith coached a team for which Thompson played.
Initially, Thompson was undecided about continuing playing softball at the opposite corner of the state.
"I wasn't really sure at first," Smith said. "I was actually getting stressed about it."
In the end, Thompson decided on the Conquistadors, who also have a nursing program, which will be Thompson's field of study.
MHS coach Ballard Patterson said he was ecstatic about Thompson signing with Dodge City.
"Rachael's one of the best players to come through our program at McLouth. She's a fantastic third baseman whose fielding is amazing.
"If she's had one error in the two years I've coached her, that would be it," Patterson said.
Patterson also praised Thompson's hitting ability. This season, Patterson has moved the right-handed batter to the left side as a slap-drag bunter, so Thompson presents another threat at the plate.
"She's done really well with that," Patterson said.
It's a technique Thompson likes, but it took some patience in mastering the art.
"It took a lot of practice at first, but now I'm used to it," Thompson said.
After helping McLouth to its first state appearance in school history in 2006, Thompson is midway through her senior season for the Bulldogs, who gotten off to a fast start this season.
Patterson expects his third baseman to continue her success at Dodge City.
"I really think the college level will challenge Rachael to really excel," Patterson said. "I think the world of her. She's a good kid."
Thompson will join a Conqs squad that went 21-25 in 2006 and currently is 21-21.
As for McLouth, Thompson is the second player under Patterson to sign with a college. Last year, pitcher Catherine Gunther signed with Butler County.