Braves edge out Owls 6-5 in county battle

Kelsey Schneider and Rylee May combined for four hits, five runs and two RBI to lead the Brownstown Central softball team to a 6-5 win at Seymour Monday afternoon.

Kinzee Dean led off the top of the seventh with a single. She advanced on two infield outs and scored on Schneider’s double to left-center for the winning run.

Schneider said she was looking for a pitch she could hit to the outfield.

“I was just looking for a good pitch. Down the middle would have been nice, but I just took the outside pitch that she gave me, and I just took it yard,” she said.

Both teams got their offenses going early.

Schneider led off the first with a single, stole second and went to third and scored on wild pitches.

May was safe at first base on an error by the Owls’ right fielder and later scored on a hit by Olivia Justice to make it 2-0.

Jamie Bobb led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Kendall Allman singled to drive her home. After Alexia Rieckers walked, Phoebe Underwood doubled to left-center to drive in Allman and Rieckers.

Schneider led off the third by reaching first on an error, stole second and scored on another error to tie the game at 3.

May then hit a high fly ball to right center that the wind caught hold of and sent it over the fence for a 4-3 lead.

It was May’s second homer in two games as she hit one out at Austin last Thursday.

She said, “I think the wind might have played a part in it. I think it just barely went over. That’s two for the season. I hit five last year, and I hit three the year before. Usually, I go for a pitch inside or straight down the middle. A fastball is pretty good. I think I got a rise ball that didn’t rise, so it was probably right down the middle.”

With one out in the fifth, Schneider doubled to left-center and scored on Brooke Meahl’s single before the Owls scored runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game again.

In the fifth, Avery Stewart hit a high fly ball into short right field for a double, and Owls coach Emily Bobb had her team play small ball as Mackenzie Bryson sacrificed Stewart to third and Addyson Coomer laid down another bunt to score Stewart.

Abby Followell led off the sixth with a double. She advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a Braves error.

The Braves had six hits with Schneider getting three, and Meahl, May, Kyndle Huddleston and Dean had one apiece. Schneider scored three runs, May scored two and Dean one. Schneider, Meahl, May and Justice had the RBIs.

Assistant coach Kirsten Ault-Beavers said she likes the way the Braves are swinging the bats.

“Our whole team has been hitting well all year. This is probably the strongest hitting team overall as a team in a long time. As a team, we’re batting something close to .440. I know Kelsey’s batting in the .600s,” Beavers said. “That’s two games in a row that Rylee has hit a home run. We’ve got several girls that have hit home runs this year.”

Schneider pitched a complete game to pick up the win. She had eight strikeouts and walked one.

“She did a nice job hitting her spots,” Beavers said. “This is the first full game she has pitched all year. We had kind of planned on changing pitchers their third time through the lineup, but she was doing a good job, and we felt confident, so we stayed with her.”

Schneider said her innings on the mound have been limited because of her shoulder injury last year.

“I was throwing a lot of screwballs,” she said. “It was definitely my number one pitch today, and my drop curve was probably my second, and I threw a lot of inside pitches, too. We stayed locked in.”

“We’re playing all-around good ball,” Beavers said. “We told the girls out in the huddle that everybody did their job today. Everybody got their bunts down when they needed to. We got hits when we needed to. We were a little shaky with our defense (two errors) at times, but we’ve got some young players that were a little bit nervous, I think, their first rival game with Seymour. This is a good group of girls. They work hard every day.”

Owls assistant coach Nick Underwood said, “We need to clean up some of our defensive errors. Those definitely hurt us. If we can turn one of those around, that probably puts us into a tie game. The two base-running errors definitely hurt, but again, we preach an aggressive style. That’s one thing we’ve been big on.”

The Owls had two runners thrown out at third base.

Underwood said, “The plusses for the Owls, Taylor Stuckwisch is a freshman. She threw five innings and looked good. After the first inning, she settled down. That’s a positive. We started four freshmen and two sophomores, so we’re still a young team. Seeing that output is better than the way we started the season. We need to step on the gas a little bit earlier.”

Bobb had two hits and one run, Followell, Allman and Stewart each had a hit and scored a run, Underwood had a hit and two RBI, Coomer and Allman each had an RBI, Warren had a hit and Rieckers scored a run.

The Owls, 3-5, will travel to New Albany today, and the Braves, 7-3, will host Scottsburg on Thursday for a Mid-Southern Conference game.