The bats were hot early and often for the Brownstown Central Braves on Thursday night when they took on Eastern (Pekin) at home.
The team put up two runs in the first inning and three runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead. The Braves went on to double that total as they defeated Eastern 10-0 in five innings.
"When we started out, we wanted to put the ball in play, and we did," head coach Monte Ault said.
This hasn’t been a shock for the Braves, either. Their bats have been on fire for the past couple of games now, scoring eight or more runs in both.
"We hit the ball real well," Ault said. "We’ve been hitting the ball pretty good, but we’ve got to keep improving each game because we have some tough teams coming up on our schedule."
One of the big hits of the day came from leadoff hitter Erin Singleton, who blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to give the Braves a 9-0 lead in the Mid-Southern Conference game.
"She’s just an athlete," Ault said. "She’s a good hitter. I expect big things out of her."
Singleton used to play shortstop, but Ault likes her at second base now because he thinks it makes the team’s defense better.
Speaking of the defense, as good the Braves’ hitting was, the pitching was just as good.
Rylin Huddleston and Kelsey Schneider combined for the no-hitter.
Huddleston pitched three innings, struck out six and only walked one. Schneider pitched the final two innings, struck out three and had zero walks. Schneider also finished with two RBI.
The pitching crew for the Braves is young and injured right now. Two pitchers are hurt. Maddison Brittain tore her ACL in travel ball, and Kyndle Huddleston had surgery the other day on her elbow.
Because of that, Ault needs the defense to do a solid job backing up the bullpen.
"We just need to play good defense like we’ve been playing, and we need to hit the ball all the way through the lineup, one through nine," he said.
Almost every player got in and had a chance to hit Thursday, with which Ault was pleased. He got 15 players to have at least one at-bat Wednesday, and eight of them got at least one hit.
Singleton (2), Schneider (2), Alli Reynolds (1) and Emily Singleton (2) all had an RBI on the day.
Up next for Brownstown will be West Washington on the road Monday.
"West Washington beat us last time we played them," Ault said. "They’re a tough team. We need to go down and be focused and ready to play softball."