Missing three starters to injury, and starting a handful of freshmen against the reigning Class A state champion Hauser softball team, Brownstown Central coach Monte Ault knew his team was in for a tall task on opening day.
The Jets built a big lead early and wouldn’t allow more than a hit as they topped the Braves 10-0 on Tuesday.
“Most of them were pretty nervous playing a good team,” Ault said. “I have three girls, who are probably starters, that have tore their ACLs, and I moved some girls around into different positions. Some of the girls were playing positions they’d never played.
Through the first two innings, neither team could generate much offensem as the Jets’ Tessa Sims pitched three strikeouts and Brownstown Central fielded error-free.
In the third inning, the Jets’ bats caught fire, and the runs ensued.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Hailey Lange reached on a fielder’s choice to the pitcher and Ali Hoover scored.
On that same play, Leslie Sims scored off an error at first base by the Braves to put the Jets up 2-0.
The runs kept coming for the Jets, as Sidney Giles singled to right field to score Tessa Sims.
Giles then scored off a wild pitch, and a sacrifice bunt from Sydney Schoen scored another Jets run.
A double play by the Braves closed the top of the third, as the Jets led 6-0.
“(The Braves’ Jami Bryant) was pitching away, and we finally got up on the plate,” Jets coach Craig Sims said of the scoring stretch. “We let that ball get deep enough to hit it. We were off the plate too much in the first two innings and were rolling over on it.”
In the fourth inning, Lange hit another RBI single to bump the score to 7-0.
Brownstown’s Beth Wayman got the single hit for the Braves on the afternoon in the bottom of the fourth, but the team wouldn’t capitalize.
The fifth inning saw the Jets’ Kali Schumaker hit an RBI bunt prior to an RBI single from Leslie Sims.
An RBI double by Tessa Sims gave the Jets the 10-0 lead going into the fifth inning.
Brownstown wouldn’t get on base the rest of the way.
“We gave up five unearned runs, they got the bases loaded with no outs, and it was hard defense in the third,” Ault said. “We’re going to have to be patient this year. I think we will improve each game because we have some girls who can play. I think these freshmen, as they get some playing time, will do better.”
Hauser finished with 13 hits and no errors to the Braves’ single hit and four miscues.
In the circle, Tessa Sims threw eight strikeouts for the Jets.
“We played a really good team and pitcher,” Ault said. “We probably won’t two or three more pitchers better than her all season.”
The Braves (0-1) will host Jennings County on Thursday.