Cougars softball finish strong week with run-rule win

For The Tribune

Trinity Lutheran’s softball team built a 10-0 lead on Brownstown Central after three innings of play Saturday afternoon and went on to win 13-3 in five innings.

The Cougars outhit the Braves 11-6 and scored three or more runs in four different innings.

“We executed well, we ran the bases well and we hit the ball extremely well,” Cougars coach Chad Goecker said.

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Trinity used hits by Jodi Goecker, Jaryn Holtsclaw and Kirstin Hoene and took advantage of a Brownstown error to jump on top 3-0 in the bottom of the first.

The Cougars batted around in the second inning and had three hits, the Braves committed two more errors and a runner scored on a wild pitch, making the score 7-0. The key hit in the inning was a two-run single by Holtsclaw.

Trinity’s hot bats continued in the third inning with four more hits, resulting in three runs for a 10-0 lead.

Holtsclaw picked up her fourth RBI of the game in the fifth inning with a sacrifice fly.

The top three hitters in the Trinity batting order combined for eight runs, seven hits and six RBI. Savannah Harweger had two hits, two RBI and three runs, Goecker had three hits, a walk and three runs and Holtsclaw had two hits, four RBI and two runs.

Brownstown scored its runs in the top of the fifth. Zoe Fountain tripled over the center fielder’s head and scored on a wild pitch, while Addy Krieger singled and scored on Leah Stidam’s home run.

That was Stidam’s third home run of the season and second of the day, as she hit one out Saturday morning when the Braves lost 4-3 in eight innings at North Harrison.

Hannah Deaton and Morgan Gabbard split the pitching for the Cougars and combined to strike out six, walk two and give up six hits.

“I’m proud all around of how the girls played and executed,” coach Goecker said. “They did a great job. We were happy with the pitching today.”

Braves coach Monte Ault said it was one of worst games of the season for his team.

“Normally, we come ready to play,” he said. “The errors we had, the balls were hit right to us, and we normally make those plays. On one play, the sun got in the fielder’s eyes, and we didn’t have anybody cover second, so that hurt us. We dropped one on a bunt.”

Krieger was the only Brave to get two hits.

In Brownstown’s morning game, North Harrison took advantage of an error to score three unearned runs in the first inning and later used a bloop hit to score its winning run in the eighth inning.

Stidam hit a two-run home run in the second inning to tie the game at 3.

The Braves had six hits with Stidam getting two.

“When we went to North Harrison, we had a lot of energy and played loose, but we just didn’t get the win,” Ault said. “We had chances. We had runners on second and third and one out and had a runner picked off third.

“We need to be playing our best softball and try to get ready for the sectional,” he said. “We had been playing real well.”

Trinity (11-5) finished the week 3-1.

“It was a pretty good week,” coach Goecker said. “We let one get by us at Hauser, but they’re a quality ball club, and to beat them, you’ve got to play error-free. We had some mental lapses. We tried focusing on things we could do better from that Hauser game, so it turned into a positive for us.”

The Braves fell to 4-4 in the Mid-Southern Conference and are 11-13 overall.

Both teams are in action today with Trinity hosting Milan and Brownstown traveling to Paoli.