Jets fall to Braves in sectional final

Paige McDaniel

MILAN — For only the second time in more than a decade, the Hauser softball team is not a sectional champion.

Brownstown Central put the timely hits together in the fourth inning to move past the Jets to take the sectional crown 3-1 and end Hauser’s season Thursday night in the Class 2A Milan Sectional final.

The Braves move to face host Providence in the regional on Tuesday.

Thursday night also marked an end of an era for senior Paige McDaniel. She ended her career as one of the best pitchers in school history. She finishes with school records of 76 total wins and 607 career strikeouts.

McDaniel will continue her softball career at Oakland City next year.

“It was a bummer to come out here tonight and lose, but we gave it our all. We hit (the ball) and tried our best,” McDaniel said.

It was announced after the game that McDaniel, Izzy Brunner and Lucie Asher were named to the All-Sectional Team.

The Jets (20-9) scored the first run of the game when McDaniel smacked a solo home run that just went over the fence in right center to lead 1-0.

Brownstown got all of its three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Brooke Meahl led off the inning with a single. A Hauser fielding error put runners on first and second. A walk then loaded the bases. Kinzee Dean took advantage by hitting a double in the gap in right center to score two runs for the 2-1 lead. The Braves added an insurance run when the next batter, Alex Davidson, hit a single.

The Jets had their best chance to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth when Kaitlyn Robinson led off with a walk, Asher hit a two-out single and then an error trying to field the ball loaded the bases. The Braves got out of the jam when Brunner flied out to left field.

Hauser managed six hits off of Brownstown pitcher Kelsey Schneider. Lexie Hamilton finished 3 for 4, McDaniel had the home run and Brunner and Asher recorded the other two hits.

McDaniel went the full seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts.