Bobcats burned again

Published 5:42 pm Monday, June 21, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
BATTLE CREEK -- With success at the plate few teams have enjoyed against Brandywine this season, the Gladstone Braves won the school's first ever state title Saturday, beating the Bobcats 2-1 in the Division 3 Softball championship game.
Gladstone (25-10) managed five hits against Brandywine ace Nicki McGowen, who finishes her career with a record of 135-20 and 1, 202 strikeouts, including a record this season of 38-5 and 453 strikeouts.
After giving up a single to the first batter of the game, McGowen kept the Braves at bay for the first three innings, striking out seven of 11 batters she faced.
In the fourth ining, however, Bobbie Jo Taylor connected for a double down the third-base line and drove in the first run of the game.
In the next inning, Liz Kinnart hit another double, this time off the left center field fence, to drive in the Braves' final run of the game.
Brandywine tried to even the score in the bottom of the sixth when Dee Echevarria reached first by getting hit with a pitch. Nikki Martyniuk came in to run for Echevarria and scored on an overthrow to first after Michelle Shoemaker grounded to third base. Shoemaker also tried to score on the play, but was thrown out at home.
Kinnart struck out three straight batters in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the victory for Gladstone.
Despite the loss, Myers counted the season as a success.