Echevarria saves the day

Published 4:10 am Monday, June 6, 2005

By By TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
BERRIEN SPRINGS - Brandywine senior Dee Echevarria's two out hit in the bottom of the seventh scored the winning run in Saturday's Division 3 district title game in a 4-3 win over River Valley.
The win punched the Bobcats' ticket to their seventh straight regional tournament next Saturday at Constantine High School. The Bobcats will square up against Kalamazoo Christian.
Brandywine, now 29-8, who continued their season with the win, didn't make the game an easy one for coach Jim Myers to watch.
Brandywine pushed a single run across in the bottom of the first with winning pitcher Kelli Zache helping her own cause with a double that led to the Bobcats first run on a sacrifice by Kendra Zache.
Four hits in the third inning by the Bobcats pushed across another two runs as Ashely Antus doubled. Echevarria pushed the run across with an RBI bunt single. Kendra Zache singled and moved Echevarria to third and Angela Newman came through with an RBI single to put the Bobcats up 3-0.
In the top of the fourth River Valley played small ball and put down four consecutive bunts. Brandywine miscues after each bunt led to the Mustangs three run rally in the top half of the fourth to tie the game at three.
River Valley had an opportunity in the sixth to go ahead after a lead off walk and two sacrifice bunts putting the runner at third with two outs.
Zache pitched her way out of the jam leaving the Mustang runner stranded at third.
"Kelli has stepped up and done a great job all season and the kids have played pretty well around her so we are really happy to get this win," Myers said. "There was a couple of times where she could have broke under pressure but she didn't. She has a lot of poise on the mound."
Brandywine pushed the winning run across after Mallory Barber reached on an error and pinch runner Elizabeth Carlson reached second on a wild pitch by Mustang pitcher Brittany Warren.
After a game saving catch by Warren on a hot line drive smash off the bat of Kelli Zache, Carlson advanced to third on a sacrifice putting the game in Echevarria's hands with two outs.
Brandywine advanced to the championship game with a 10-0 five inning win over Bridgman.
In the first game of the day, River Valley stopped Buchanan for the first time this season with a 5-1 victory. This was the fourth time that the Mustangs faced the Bucks this season.
Championship game
River Valley 000 300 0 - 3 4 2
Brandywine 102 000 1 - 4 6 3
Brittany Warren (L); Kelli Zache (W)
2B: Kelli Zache (B), Ashley Antus (B)
Varsity records: Brandywine 29-8, River Valley 11-23
Bridgman 000 00 - 0 1 3
Brandywine 210 61 - 10 11 0
Erin Weber (L); Kelli Zache (W)
2B: Kelli Zache (B), Kristina Ford (B)
Varsity record: Bridgman 15-16.
River Valley 011 000 3 - 5 9 1
Buchanan 100 000 0 - 1 5 2
Brittany Warren (W); Ashley Pointer (L)
2B: Brittany Warren (RV), Valerie Schlutt (RV) 2
3B: Jan Watkins (RV)
Varsity record: Buchanan 25-13