For the Brownstown Central softball team, Thursday’s sectional game against Salem was one of missed opportunities.
The Braves had runners on base in every inning but couldn’t deliver a hit when one was needed, and Salem won Class 3A Sectional 30 by a score of 2-0.
“We had the right people up there (batting),” Braves coach Monte Ault said. “We had the bases loaded and one out (in the fifth), and the top of the lineup, and that happens sometimes. We knew exactly what (Brooke Miller) was going to pitch. She threw a fastball, and she threw a changeup, and we kept telling them and telling them.”
A strikeout and a groundout ended the threat in the fifth inning.
Brownstown’s top four batters managed only one hit between them, a single by Brooke Ebbing with two out in the seventh.
“We had to many strike outs, too,” Ault said as the Braves fanned eight times and received two walks.
The Braves’ Kourtney Branaman allowed only a single through the first two innings. Hannah Campbell led off the third by walking. That was the first walk Branaman issued in the sectional as she didn’t walk any against Silver Creek or Corydon.
The next batter sacrificed Campbell to second, and Alex Davidson doubled over Beth Wayman’s glove in center field. Campbell had to hold up on the play because of how close Wayman came to making a catch, and she stopped at third. Cheslie Strong grounded out to second as Campbell scored.
Branaman retired the Lions in order in the fourth and fifth before walking Davidson leading off the sixth.
She stole second and scored on Strong’s single to right field.
Branaman led off the sixth inning with a single to right field. She tried to stretch the hit into a double but was tagged out by Davidson at second base.
The Braves outhit the Lions 6-4. Branaman was the only Brave to get two hits. Maeleigh Tidd was on base three times with a single in the first, walk in the fourth and safe on a fielder’s choice in the fifth.
Courtnie Pullen singled in the third and walked in the fifth, and Ebbing was the only other Braves to reach base twice, on a fielder’s choice in the fifth and her single in the seventh. Jamie Bryant had a single in the sixth.
The win snapped an eight-game win streak and left Brownstown Central with a record of 22-9.
“We had a good season,” Ault said. “This senior group meant a lot to the Brownstown program.
“Kourtney did a great job pitching this year, Maeleigh Tidd did a great job of calling games and catching. Lisa (Scott) moved over to shortstop after playing behind Brook Rogers and did a heck of a job. Brooke Ebbing had always played first base and she was willing to go to third and did a good job. K.G. (Katelyn Gray) did a good job at first, and Courtnie Pullen at second, and we made some nice plays in the outfield.
“It came down to they got hits with runners on and we didn’t get hits with runners on. When you get the bases loaded with one out and don’t get runners in you have to give them credit.”
Salem is 20-8 and will play host to the winner of the tonight’s Greensburg-Franklin County game on Tuesday in the regional.