VERNON – Come the year, it’s the exact matchup they want.
Brookfield softball wants another crack at Mathews after last season’s district final. But before that could happen, the rising star of the Northeastern Athletic Conference, Chalker, stood in their way.
They struggled with early morning rain canceling games all over the place, roaring winds, a lightning delay that stopped the game for 30 minutes and when the dust finally settled, literally, Brookfield was left. standing for a 3-2 win over the Wildcats.
Given everything that happens around the game, it makes sense that a few simple hits are all that is needed to decide a winner.
The game resumed after a delay in the bottom of the sixth, with the same score. Six outs later, Brookfield pitcher Miranda Nicholson rushed to the plate to hug catcher Katie Gibson, glad they battled it all out to get the win.
“Once you get to the playoffs, it’s like you’ve got a lot of low -scoring games,” he said. Warriors coach Dave DeJoy said. “You have to do a lot of things to try to make runs. The first game (Mathews and Badger) was 1-0; ours was 3-2. Miranda and Katie worked again, very well. Happy i like them very much.we’ve done enough offensively.I want to see our bats more active than tonight, but it’s been an interesting night.
Anna Reichart recorded two hits, one of which scored by both Sophie Hook and Abby DeJoy in the bottom of the third inning. All five runs in the game were scored in that frame.
Chalker’s season ended 9-6. They return a solid core with junior pitcher Natalie Piecuch, sophomore centerfielder Gabby Nieves and freshman shortstop Sam Strock. With a strong harvest of freshmen to come, the Wildcats have high hopes for next year.
“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to build for the future,” Wildcats coach Rich Hudak said. “One of our other goals is to reach the (district semifinals). We accomplished that last week. We’re happy with that, but we’re just not going to settle. This week from the last game so far, that’s what we stressed.
“We’re here and we’re going to play our best and whatever happens, happens.… We have a great team coming back and we will continue to build this year and we hope to be back next year.
Next to the Warriors is Mathews. A team they hope to get another chance against. Last season, the teams met in the district final, where the Mustangs came out on top 11-1. While nerves are a factor, DeJoy hopes to use that to a positive outcome.
“I’m not saying we’re targeting them, but we hope to have another chance to play them and play them better than we did before,” DeJoy said. “Young women, and I think young men too, you always have an element of nervousness. What I always try to tell our girls is that if you can change those nerves and that can be as positive energy for the game, and not let it affect you.We want positive energy where you are excited and ready to play, and keep your focus level as you play.That’s how we do it. tried to do.
“I know there’s some nervousness coming up on Wednesday night, and there’s some interesting thoughts, I’m sure in everyone’s heads what’s going to happen, what’s going to happen, what you know- what can happen.We will just try to have good practice tomorrow, prepare ourselves, give them our scouting report and try to implement on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s bias start time is set for 5 p.m. at Joseph Badger High School. The winner will advance to the regional semifinals in Strongsville.