Five seniors to anchor stout Braves’ squad


BROWNSTOWN — Working with a roster loaded with veterans, it is easy to see why Brownstown Central softball coach Darren Bryant has high hopes for this spring.

Bryant looks for major contributions from his five seniors, Adelynn Anderson, Emily Dillman, Kyndle Huddleston, Rylee May and Kelsey Schneider.

“Our two returning pitchers, Kelsey and Rylee have pitched a lot of games for us. They should be very solid on the mound and not nervous of a big game or a big situation in a game,” he said.

“We return three other seniors who were all starters last year and will be this year. Kyndle won the award for our best defensive player last year at first base and she will be there again this year.

“She is also a very good hitter. Kelsey and Rylee were our top two hitters last year.”

May, who was named the Braves’ MVP last year, hit .459 (39-85) with 30 runs and 30 RBI, and she holds the career record for home runs with 13.

Schneider scored a school-record 40 runs last spring. She received the pitching award for going 5-2 with a 3.07 ERA and she had 65 strike outs in 59 innings.

Both were named Mid Southern All-Conference first team in 2023.

Schneider will do a lot of pitching again this spring, and when she is not pitching, she will be at shortstop. When Schneider is pitching, freshman Lyla Huffman will play shortstop.

“We are very excited about her,” Bryant said of Huffman. “She is very fast and can play ‘small ball’ or hit with power and probably has the strongest arm on the team.

“We have four or five girls that can play the other two outfield spots,” Bryant said.

He expects Brooke Meahl to start in right.

“She is very good out there and has been hitting well,” Bryant said. “The other outfield spot can be filled by three or four other girls, and we may use a DP/flex to get our nine best hitters in the lineup and our best outfielder in left.”

Olivia Justice and Dillman will share the catching duties with Kinzee Dean at third base. Anderson will see playing time at second and in the outfield.

Bryant said another freshman, Alex Davidson, will play a lot at second base.

“She has looked very good in the field and hitting,” he said.

Anderson will see playing time at second and in the outfield.

“With five seniors we are expecting a very good year, hoping to build on some of the success we had last year (17-10). We lost two games in our conference (6-2), both by 2-1 scores to Silver Creek and Scottsburg so we were very close to winning the conference for the first time since my oldest daughter played and she is 37 years old,” Bryant said.

“We think we should be one of the favorites to win the sectional, but we know Hauser is always good and Milan returns most of their players from a team that was in the championship game last year and barely lost to Hauser.

“We are hoping that they lost more talent than we did since we only lost one player from last year and gained a very good freshman class.”

The Braves are scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday against Hauser at home.

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