Cougars take down Braves in matchup of county softball teams


Trinity Lutheran’s softball team took advantage of its offensive opportunities to score two runs each in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings for an 8-2 win against Brownstown Central on Saturday morning.

Cougars coach Chad Goecker called the win a team effort, as every batter got on base at least once with five of them collecting hits and seven of them scoring runs.

“It was pretty nice,” Goecker said. “The girls made some nice adjustments up at the plate. We were still out in front of the ball quite a bit as we went through the game. Some girls came through with some good, timely hits when we needed to.

“I thought we executed fairly well today. There are always things to work on. We moved the ball throughout our order. Everybody produced today and did good things and put the ball in play. It’s always good when you get a little help through the middle and bottom of the lineup.”

Savannah Harweger opened the game by beating out a slow roller in front of the plate, and Jodi Goecker was hit by a pitch. Genesis Munoz hit a fly ball to center field that was dropped to load the bases.

Harweger scored on an infield out, and Sami Newmister hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Goecker for a 2-0 lead.

Maddie Bell and Chloe Criswell reached base safely on errors for Trinity in the second inning. Bell later scored on another error, and Morgan Gabbard singled to drive in Criswell for a 4-0 lead.

Chloe Carlin led off the bottom of the second with a double for the Braves’ first hit, and Alli Reynolds followed with a single.

Addy Krieger grounded out, and Carlin tried to beat the throw home but was tagged out. Rehgen Stuckwisch hit a double to easily score Reynolds for a 4-1 game.

Jaryn Holtsclaw led off the top of the fifth with a single, and Newmister doubled to put runners on second and third. Hannah Deaton reached base on an error that allowed Holtsclaw to score, and Bell grounded out with Newmister scoring on the play.

Krieger led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and later scored on a single by Hannah Fisher.

With two out and nobody on in the top of the sixth, Munoz was hit by a pitch, and Holtsclaw was safe on a fielding throw that would have retired the side. Newmister followed with a double to drive in both runs.

Braves coach Monte Ault was not happy with the Braves’ defense for committing six errors.

“(Trinity) got two earned runs,” he said. “It was not just one girl. It was the whole team (that made errors). We had throwing errors. We didn’t field the ball. We didn’t catch the ball.

“They’d play small ball there. We’d get the ball and throw it, then drop it, then it would go through their legs. We make the hard plays, and then with the routine plays, it seems like we bobble it. It’s the little things that is putting an ‘L’ in our column. They say 60 percent of errors are throwing errors, and that is pretty well true.”

Ault said the Braves have been hitting the ball well in recent games, but they haven’t gotten timely hits.

“We left nine runners on base against North Harrison (Thursday) and nine runners on base against Madison (Friday),” he said. “We had two games we were capable of winning and didn’t get the job done. We’ve got girls throughout our lineup capable of hitting the ball. It’s just mental right now. We need a win to get our spirit up a little bit.”

Deaton picked up the win in the circle. She allowed the five hits to go along with five strikeouts and one walk.

“Hannah pitched a great game,” coach Goecker said. “She came in (Saturday) morning sick, but she hung in there and pitched a real good game, so we’re happy with that. (Brownstown) is pretty solid at the top and in the middle of their lineup, and she did a good job handling the top of the lineup. She did a good job of keeping them in check.”

Newmister led the Trinity offense with two doubles and three RBI, and she scored one run. Harweger had two hits and scored a run, and Holtsclaw had a hit, an RBI and a run.

Krieger topped the Braves with two hits and scored a run.

The Braves (5-14) will host Paoli today, and the Cougars (9-7) will play Milan on Tuesday.