For The Tribune
Kourtney Branaman had a terrific night in the circle, giving up only two runs and striking out five, to lead Brownstown Central to a season-opening 4-2 softball win at Hauser.
“She had a heck of a game pitching tonight,” Brownstown coach Monte Ault said. “Going in, we knew Hauser was a great team with Tessa (Sims) pitching and Leslie (Sims) batting. If there was anyone of them who could get (Leslie Sims) out, it would be Kourtney.”
The Braves got two runs in the top of the first inning on an RBI-single from Maeleigh Tidd and an RBI-triple from Katelyn Gray to go ahead 2-0. The Jets responded in the bottom of the first when Hailey Lange grounded out to score Leslie Sims to cut the deficit 2-1.
It was not until the seventh inning when Brownstown got the insurance runs needed. Lisa Scott hit a triple to lead off the inning. A Jets throwing error at first base scored Scott. Jami Bryant drove in another run in the seventh inning with an RBI-single.
“We got the hits down and the bunts down when we wanted to,” Ault said. “For the first game of the season, I am proud of how these girls played tonight.”
Hauser left 10 runners on base. The Braves ended up stranding nine but were able to capitalize on the Jets’ mistakes and get that extra hit they needed to put themselves ahead.
“This game came down to getting two-out hits with runners in scoring position. We came up with zero of those tonight,” Hauser coach Craig Sims said. “We didn’t have enough offensively to win the game, and we did not catch fly balls. We haven’t had practice catching fly balls in 20 mph winds, but I’m not going to make any excuses on it. If we would catch those routine fly balls, they would not have scored four runs on us.”