Western Brown softball team unbeaten at 7-0 –
By Wade Linville –
The Western Brown Lady Broncos remained perfect on the season by cruising to a 11-0 victory over the visiting Batavia Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.
In a dominating performance, the Lady Broncos hammered out 10 hits while there were two pitchers to contribute in the shutout – freshman Sydni Barnes and junior Mary Sizer.
With the April 12 league victory, the Lady Broncos rose to a 7-0 overall record and a 5-0 record in Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference American Division play.
“We hit the ball pretty well. When you hit and you get good pitching and good defense, that’s a good combination,” said Western Brown head softball coach Blaine Wallace following Wednesday’s win. “We’re fortunate to have two good pitchers.”
Although this year’s Lady Broncos are a young team with only one senior, infielder Bailie Darnall, Wallace boasted of the talent on this year’s varsity team.
“We’re right up there with being as talented as we’ve ever been,” said Wallace, and that’s saying a lot when looking back at last year’s Lady Broncos who finished last season as the SBAAC American Division co-champs and made it to the district finals. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to have as good of a year as we’ve ever had, but we’re as talented as we’ve ever been.”
Barnes started in the pitcher’s circle in Wednesday’s league contest, and after walking the first batter she faced the freshman would strike out the next three to hold the Lady Bulldogs scoreless in the top of the first inning.
Barnes reached on an error to start off the bottom of the first, then it was junior Tessa Pinkerton following up with an infield single.
With two runners on and no outs, Sizer stepped to the plate to crank out a run-scoring single to left field, giving the Lady Broncos a 1-0 lead.
Western Brown sophomore Liz Hadley hit into a fielder’s choice in her first at-bat of the day, but her big bat would provide huge contributions on offense later in the game.
With Darnall at the bat, Pinkerton would steal home while the Lady Bulldogs tried to gun down the runner heading to second base, expanding the Lady Broncos’ lead to 2-0. Darnall would eventually take a base-on-balls, bringing sophomore Lexi Wallace to the plate for her first bat of the day.
Wallace swung for a run-scoring single to lift the Lady Broncos to a 3-0 lead.
Western freshman Jade Jones reached on a error to load the bases for the Lady Broncos. Then it was junior Riese Peters hitting into a fielder’s choice but recording the RBI as a runner scored to put the Lady Broncos up by four.
The Lady Bulldogs were finally able to put an end to the side as Barnes flew out to left field.
With the first inning in the books, the Lady Broncos led 4-0.
Barnes returned to the pitcher’s circle in the top of the second inning, striking out three straight batters to retire the side.
Pinkerton reached base on an error to start off the bottom of the second, then it was Sizer hammering out a run-scoring double to right field to lift the Lady Broncos to a 5-0 lead.
In her second at-bat of the day, Hadley blasted a double off the top of the fence in left field, just inches of a home run, to bring home Sizer and expand the Lady Broncos’ lead to 6-0.
The Lady Bulldogs were able to hold the Lady Broncos to two runs in the bottom of the second, and with two innings in the books it was Western Brown leading 6-0.
After Barnes struck out the the side in the top of the third inning, the Lady Bronco bats got back to business.
Peters started off the bottom of the third inning with a single up the middle. Then it was Western sophomore Hannah Bolender cranking out a single to left field.
Barnes lined out to third base for the first out in the bottom of the third inning, but Peters would later score off a Batavia error to give the Lady Broncos a 7-0 lead.
After Pinkerton was hit by a pitch, Sizer swung for a run-scoring single to up the Lady Broncos’ lead to 8-0.
In her final at-bat of the day, Hadley blasted a three-run homer over the fence in right field to widen the margin to 11-0.
Sizer took over in the pitcher’s circle in the top of the fourth inning and was able to hold the run-less in the frame.
The Lady Broncos were held run-less in the bottom of the fourth.
Sizer returned to the pitcher’s circle in the top of the fifth inning, striking out the first two Batavia batters.
The game ended with second baseman Darnall tracking down a fly ball to short right field in the top of the fifth inning.
Barnes threw for nine strikouts in three innings in what was an impressive pitching performance.
Sizer struck out two in the last two innings, as both pitchers contributed in the shutout victory.
Sizer went three-for-three batting with two singles and a double.
Hadley went two-for-three at the bat with a double and a home run.
Wallace batted two-for-three in Wednesday’s win with a single and s double.
The Lady Bulldogs managed just one hit in the game.
The Lady Broncos prepared to face some tough competition in the Symmes Valley High School “Valley of Thunder Tournament” scheduled for April 14-15.