For The Tribune
Following an 8-1 win against Silver Creek on Monday in the opening game of the Class 3A Sectional 30 at Salem, Brownstown Central softball coach Monte Ault said it was one of the team’s best outings of the season.
“We did everything well,” he said. “We hit the ball when we got runners on. The defense played a great game in the outfield. We did an excellent job of running the bases. We took some extra bases. And we laid down some bunts. That’s what we’ve been trying to do, take an extra base when we can and put some pressure on them.”
Story continues below gallery
After being sent down in order at the top of the first inning, the Braves scored their first run in the second.
Maeleigh Tidd led off with a single. Emma Zabor went in as a courtesy runner for Tidd, and Kourtney Branaman sacrificed her to second.
Since no Dragons infielder was covering third, Zabor raced to that base. Then when the first baseman’s throw sailed down the left-field line. Zabor scored to make it 1-0.
In the fourth inning, Katelyn Gray led off with a single and went to third on a single by Branaman. Jami Bryant grounded out to second to score Gray, and Lisa Scott singled to drive in Branaman to make it a 3-0 game.
The Braves continued to execute on offense in the fifth, when they sent 10 batters to the plate and blew the game open with four runs.
Beth Wayman singled, moved to second on an error and scored when Gray singled. Tidd followed with her second hit of the game. Branaman hit a ground ball down the third-base line that hit off of the third baseman’s glove and went into left-center field, allowing two runners to score. Scott followed with another hit to score Branaman.
Wayman doubled over the center fielder’s head in the sixth inning and later scored on Gray’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Braves finished with 11 hits. Scott led with three, while Wayman, Gray, Tidd and Branaman each had two. That included doubles by Wayman, Tidd, Branaman and Scott.
“We hit the ball hard in the gaps, and that’s all we want because we’re not going to hit a home run every time we go up to bat,” Ault said.
Gray and Scott had two RBIs apiece, and Wayman, Gray, Zabor and Branaman each scored twice.
Branaman, a senior right-hander, kept the Dragons off of the scoreboard until the fifth. She allowed five hits, struck out five and didn’t walk any.
“Kourtney did a great job. The difference in this game and the first game (a 4-3 loss May 12) is that game Kourtney walked five, and this time, she didn’t walk any,” Ault said. “It was a great team effort, and that’s what it’s going to take to win this sectional.”
The Braves take a six-game winning streak and a record of 21-8 into a game at 5:30 p.m. today against Corydon Central, a 2-0 winner against Madison on Monday. The Braves beat the Panthers 4-1 in a Mid-Southern Conference game April 30.
Because of the weather Monday, the schedule for the Class 4A Sectional 15 at New Albany has been changed.
Seymour will play Bedford North Lawrence at 6 p.m. today, followed by Floyd Central vs. Jennings County at 8 p.m.
The winners of those games will play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Jeffersonville will play New Albany at 7:30 p.m. in the other semifinal game.
The championship is still set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.