Bobcats deny defenders

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- A chance to sweep a doubleheader with three-time defending Division I state champion Portage Northern was what the Brandywine varsity softball team wanted Thursday afternoon.
What the No. 6-ranked (Division 3) Bobcats got was a single game with the visiting Huskies and a convincing 5-0 victory.
Due to some bad directions, Portage Northern missed the scheduled start time of 4 p.m by about 45 minutes. Due to a school function later Thursday night, Brandywine had to settle for just one game instead of a doubleheader with the Huskies.
The shutout lifted Brandywine's record to 29-5 and dropped Portage Northern to 21-16.
Brandywine outplayed the Huskies in every aspect of the game--hitting, defense and pitching.
Offensively, the Bobcats got their bats going early as Nakisha Washington singled and Jessica Keeton hit a three-run homer over right field in the first inning.
The three runs Keeton drove in were all Brandywine needed for the victory, but the Bobcats added one run in the second and one in the fifth. Bridget Mitchell stole home in the second inning and Michelle Shoemaker drove in a run with a double over the right fielder in the fifth.
On defense, the Bobcats did not commit any errors. Second baseman Lauren Heyn and short stop Nakisha Washington each made spectacular plays to thwart short fly balls that threatened to be hits.
In the pitching circle, Brandywine junior right-hander Nicki McGowen tossed a two-hitter to improve to 27-4 on the year. She struck out six and walked none.
Despite getting just one shot at the Huskies, Myers feels his team took advantage of its opportunity.
Brandywine hosts a three-team tournament Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. Temperance Bedford, a Division I team with an impressive record, will be joined by Hartford, a Division 3 Honorable Mention squad.
Brandywine………….5
Portage Northern….0
Portage 000 000 0--0 2 1
Brandywine 310 010 x--5 6 0
Nicki McBowen (W, 27-4) and Michelle Shoemaker; Maryelise Gierke (L) and Gretchen Loza.
HR: Jessica Keeton (B)
2B: Shoemaker (B)
Team records: Brandywine 29-5, Portage Northern 21-16

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