Brandywine advances to state title game with 3-0 win over Clinton

Published 5:35 pm Saturday, June 19, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
BATTLE CREEK -- For the third time in the last four years, the Brandywine varsity softball team will be playing for a state title today at Bailey Park.
The Bobcats are 3-for-3 in state semifinal play during that four-year stretch after beating Clinton 3-0 Friday afternoon.
Brandywine, now 40-5, faces Gladstone (23-10) in the Division 3 title game today at 1:30 p.m.
Brandywine won the state title in 2001. Last year the Bobcats beat Clinton in the semifinals but lost 1-0 to Freeland in the title game.
McGowen struck out 13 batters and walked just one to improve to 38-5 on the year.
All three runs came in the bottom of the sixth inning for Brandywine Friday afternoon.
With both pitchers keeping the opposing team off balance and off the bases, the Bobcats finally broke the stalemate.
Designated hitter Rachel Batman started the inning with a slap single and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kayla Asmus. Ashley Antus moved Batman to third with a single up the middle and herself reached second on the throw.
Kelli Zache came up with a hard-hit single to left-center field, driving in both Batman and Antus and reaching second on the throw.
Dee Echevarria moved Zache to third with a sacrifice ground out and a single by Michelle Shoemaker brought in Zache for the third, and final, run of the game.
In the top of the seventh, McGowen fanned the first two batters and the third popped out to second baseman Amanda Grice to end the game.
The only hit of the game outside the bottom of the sixth inning was a single by Asmus in the bottom of the third.
Clinton pitcher Kristi Kelley struck out six Brandywine batters in the loss. The Redskins finish the season with a record of 28-14.
Friday's was only the second game Batman has been in the starting lineup for the state tournament, but that move is paying off, according to Myers.