HOPE — It was the home opener of Hauser’s softball campaign for the 2019 season, and although they were defeated by visiting Brownstown Central 9-5, first-year coach Andy Brunner saw some positives out of his young team.
Brunner also, however, saw some things that the Jets need to improve upon.
“I told the girls that you can’t win games committing that many errors (three) defensively. Now, we have some kids playing positions that they have never played before, and we have some really young players. We have to play some freshmen because we only have 11 players on the roster,” Brunner said.
The Braves started quickly out of the gate. Rehgen Stuckwisch singled and brought Kyra Huffman to the plate. After moving to second on the throw home, a Chloe Carlin double scored Stuckwisch, and Brownstown was quickly up 2-0 after the first inning.
The Braves were able to tack on another run in the third on an RBI-single Kyra Huffman for a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile, Brownstown pitcher Maddison Brittain kept the Hauser bats quiet through the first four innings, allowing only one hit.
Then, in the fifth inning, the Braves opened the floodgates. Seven of the first nine batters reached based in the inning, six via singles, and by the time the inning was over Brownstown had scored six runs on six hits to break the game open at 9-0.
The Jets, however, fought back in the bottom half of the inning. An infield hit by Morgon Bottoms started the rally. Hannah Johnson and Zoee Nading followed with singles to load the bases. Hunter Crain then came up and cleared the bases with a double. Shelby Fugate then singled in Crain to cut the lead to 9-5.
That was all of the offense Hauser could muster for the remainder of the night. Brittain closed out the game by retiring the Jets in order the final two innings.
“There is a lot to like about this team,” Brunner said. “We were down 9-0 and never gave up. The kids were extremely nervous, as this was their first game, but they fought. I thought Hunter threw the ball well, but we have to play better defense behind her. At this point, my confidence is as high as it could be in our team to get better.”