Bobcats ready for regional tourneys

Published 4:43 pm Friday, June 11, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Brandywine varsity softball team is no stranger to facing highly-ranked opponents in the state tournament, but those matchups don't usually come in the regional tournament like they may Saturday.
The Bobcats (36-5), ranked No. 3 in Division 3, will join No. 6 Kalamazoo Christian (25-11) and No. 7 Hartford (27-4), as well as unranked Constantine (12-14), at the Regional Tournament at Hartford on Saturday.
Brandywine faces Hartford in the first game at 10 a.m., followed by a Kalamazoo Christian-Constantine matchup at noon. The championship game is set for 2 p.m.
In contrast, there are no ranked teams in the baseball regional at Hartford on Saturday, but the Brandywine varsity team last played in a regional tournament in 2002 at Hartford.
Edwardsburg (24-8), which was ranked in the Top 10 at one point this season, will face Kalamazoo Christian (11-18) in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. The Bobcats (16-18) will take on Gobles (22-7) at 12:30 p.m. with the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Brandywine softball team is also no stranger to Hartford, a team it beat in last year's regional tournament and then beat once during the regular season this year, both times by one run in extra innings.
This season, the Bobcats hosted Hartford in a four-team tournament on May 22. Hartford's Amanda Smith hit a three-run homer in the top of the first inning, but the Bobcats fought back and sent the game into extra innings where they won with a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Brandywine pitcher Nicki McGowen, who is 34-5 on the year, allowed only three hits to the Indians and Amber Valentine led the offense with a home run.
The Brandywine baseball team took advantage of a stellar pitching performance and backed it up with great hitting to beat Buchanan and No. 2 River Valley in the district tournament last weekend. The Bobcats belted out 31 hits, including a home run by Josh Atwood. Kory Bridges (10-7) allowed River Valley just three hits and struck out eight batters in the title game.