Brownstown Central softball coach Monte Ault said he had a good feeling heading to Scottsburg on Tuesday afternoon for the Braves’ Class 3A Sectional 30 game against Salem.
The close, competitive game that Ault was hoping for never materialized as the Braves managed only two hits and Salem advanced with a 9-0 victory.
“I felt pretty good coming down here for this game,” Ault said. “Their pitcher (right hander Brooke Miller) was pretty good. I was a little disappointed in our hitting. We only got two hits. They’re a good team. They got four hits on bunts.”
The Lions had 11 hits, including a home run by Olivia Steward leading off the third inning that put the Lions on top 4-0. Salem scored in the first four innings and added two unearned runs in the sixth when the Braves had two of their four errors.
The Braves couldn’t advance a baserunner past second base. Zoe Fountain led off the game by being hit by a pitch. She advanced to second on an infield out but was left at second as the next two batters struck out.
Ault complimented Katie Taggart for getting a solid single to center in the third inning.
Fountain singled with one out in the sixth, and she stole second but was left there when the next two batters made outs.
Five of the Brownstown Central batters had 0-for-3 days and two others went 0-for-2. Miller struck out nine and didn’t walk any.
Ault also praised the senior battery of pitcher Jami Bryant and catcher Leah Stidam for their leadership.
“Leah has really worked hard, and really developed into a good catcher. She calls the pitches and does a great job. We turned that over to her. Nobody worked any harder than Jami on her pitching. She worked real hard on a change up, she took pitching lessons two days a week. She come a long way from where she first started out. We’re going to miss the pitcher and the catcher.”
The Braves finished the season 12-15. Ault said with an injury to right fielder Kaylee Branaman, he was forced to move players into positions they hadn’t played before. Hannah Fisher started in right field after Branaman got hurt, and Addy Krieger saw a lot of playing time at third base. Branaman, Fisher and Krieger are all freshmen.
“I thought we improved from the start of the season to the end of the season. That’s all we can do. We’ve just got to work hard and come back next year,” Ault said.