HCC Softball Final 2-1

By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – The Brassfield softball team finished first this summer in the Harlem Community Center (HCC) Galaxy Girls Division regular season.

But the hoped-for undefeated regular season was thwarted by Team Thayer in the very last game, which left Brassfield with an 11-1 record.

So the team, named for head coach Dave Brassfield and sponsored by the Loves Park Fire Department, set its sights on starting a new win streak, and taking the HCC postseason tournament title along the way.

They did just that, rallying from a 7-2 deficit to defeat the defending champion, O’Donnell, 11-7 on Aug. 3 at the Wentland Sports Complex.

It all boiled down to Storm Ergle pitching three innings of scoreless relief, a four-run fifth inning that broke a 7-7 tie and three standout defensive plays by Brassfield’s infield.

For Ergle, it was a matter of throwing strikes, something she said she has focused on during seven years as a pitcher. She faced 10 batters over those three innings, walking just one and recording two strikeouts.

“It scared me,” she said of coming in with the game on the line. But staying away from the walks, which impact so many pitchers at the middle school level, and what she termed her “awesome defense” made the difference.

The defensive plays

Second baseman Hannah Alita made a superb catch to open the fifth inning, running to her left toward the foul line to track down a line drive. She actually made another nice out, to end the fourth inning, with an over-the-shoulder catch while running into short right field.

Third baseman Kellie Brassfield speared a hard-hit line drive while going go her left to end the fifth. She then made another difficult play, leading off the sixth, when she scooped up a shot to her left and recorded the out.

“The defense came alive,” coach Brassfield said.

In all, Brassfield pitching including the starter, Grace Peterson, held O’Donnell hitless over the final four innings.

But O’Donnell, sponsored by Park License Service, put up seven runs in the first three innings.

Karli Tillema singled in her first of two runs to give her team a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Her second RBI, on an infield grounder, joined Mikayla Giancola’s two-run single and RBI hits by Bailey Kroos and Lily Czechowicz in the five-run third.

Brassfield stayed close in the early going, matching O’Donnell’s two first-inning runs on a clutch, two-out, two-run single by Cailei Aldrich.

“You played an awesome game,” the coach said afterward. “You held them and then you came back.”

Down 7-2, his team scored twice in the bottom of the last of the third on RBI singles by Kelli Brassfield and Aldrich. They then pulled into a 7-7 tie in the fourth thanks to an error and a two-run single by Mickey Andrews.

There were five base hits in the Brassfield’s decisive four-run sixth inning.

Four consecutive singles by the top of the order, Alita, Andrews, Leigha Church (hers drove in a run) and Kellie Brassfield fueled the rally. Aldrich was safe on an error to load the bases for Skyelar Hooper, who responded with a two-run single.

HCC Softball 2

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.