An emotional ending

Published 5:11 am Monday, June 13, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
CONSTANTINE - Tears of joy turned to tears of sadness Saturday as Brandywine's softball team fell to Gobles, 3-2, in the final game of the Division 3 Regionals at Constantine High School.
The Bobcats put up a tough fight in the second semifinal game against Kalamazoo Christian, winning in nine innings 2-0, but the Comets weren't their biggest threat this year.
The Tigers, who grabbed their first regional championship win, made all the plays they needed make, while Brandywine suffered a few mental errors that hurt them in the end.
Brandywine had many chances throughout the game to score runs, but had a hard time getting the runners in and left them stranded on base.
Mallory Barber changed that in the fourth inning when she pounded a fly ball past Golbes' center fielder, which allowed Rachel Batman to score the first run of the game and give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
But the Tigers were able to tie the game up in the fifth inning when a dropped third pitch allowed Erica Keeley, who made it to first base on a walk and third on a single, to score.
Another error on Brandywine's side on a grounder hit by Marrisa Hunt allowed Kayla Clement, who singled and stole second base, to score another run in the fourth, putting them up 2-1.
The Bobcats were able to tie the game back up at two when Kendra Zache had an RBI bunt to allow Elizabeth Carlson to score.
Carlson was the courtesy runner for Kelli Zache, who started the inning with a single. Dee Echevarria followed Zache with a double, but was never able to score.
The Tigers were able to take the lead back in the sixth when two straight bunts put Lindsay Fry, who singled to start the inning, in scoring position. A single from Emily Nason allowed Fry to score, what would eventually be, the winning run.
Brandywine had only two innings left to attempt to take the lead back, but couldn't pull off any strong hits to get runners on base and after three quick outs defensively from Gobles in the seventh inning, Brandywine watched the Tigers celebrate a 3-2 victory.
An emotional Gobles head coach, Pam Westcott, was excited for her team's win and that they had accomplished some of their goals.
The Tigers, now 22-12, advance to Tuesday's game against (winner of Grandville Calvin Christian game) Tuesday at Grand Rapids Christian.
Bobcat pitcher Kelli Zache, who pitched nine straight innings against Kalamazoo Christian, still put up a tough fight on the mound and ended her season with a 25-7 record.
Zache pitched nine innings in Brandywine's first game and had nine stike outs against the Comets.
Echevarria came through again for the Bobcats offensively in the ninth inning when she hit a single right up the middle to allow Ashley Antus, who was walked and advanced to second after Zache bunted the ball, to score.
Amanda Grice also hit a hard single past the Comets' third baseman and shortstop to put her on first and advance Carlson to second.
Angela Newman's double up the middle allowed Carlson, courtesy runner for Zache, to score another run and give the Bobcats a 2-0 lead and the win in the bottom of the ninth when Kalamazoo Christain remained scoreless.
The Bobcats end their season with a 30-9 record and lose three seniors, Ashley Antus, Amamda Grice and Dee Echevarria.