BELLBROOK — After giving up seven runs in the second inning and going down 9-4 through three, the Bellbrook softball team could have easily packed it in and called it a season. They decided to blow it open, instead, by scoring 15 runs through the final four innings to win the Division II sectional matchup, 21-9, Thursday at Bellbrook High School.
The game was initially scheduled to be played at Monroe (14-10), but the field conditions weren’t fit and they moved the game to the home of the Lady Eagles (9-12). The homefield advantage didn’t seem to be working at first, but then Bellbrook got back into the groove they’ve been in lately.
“We had our typical blow up inning, but we recovered from it,” said Bellbrook coach Jeff Eckley. “We started off the year, and we were hitting the ball really well. Then we went in kind of a funk, couldn’t get timely hits, couldn’t get people over, and now it seems like we’ve been coming out of it and hitting the ball really well.”
Bellbrook had 17 hits in the game, including five in the fourth inning where they responded with seven runs of their own. Seniors Haleigh Perry and Emily Smith combined for three RBIs in the inning. Perry finished 2-for-3, scoring three times and driving home five. Smith scored three times, going 2-for-4 from the plate and batting in four RBIs.
“We hit the ball in the gap and made them make plays,” said Eckley. “We wanted to be aggressive, because (Tarin Yalich) is a young pitcher, but she’s a good pitcher. She’s stays around the plate. She doesn’t walk you or give you many free ones, so we got aggressive and put the ball in play.”
“One of the things we stressed to them before the game was that it was going to be about who was more focused. They’re a very young team, and I said to our upper classmen that you just have to be focused. Don’t let the cold, the wind, or the wet bother you. Just play.”
Perry also pitched a complete game for Bellbrook. Eckley said she was instrumental in helping them lock down Monroe after their hot start.
“Haleigh did a nice job. She’s our senior pitcher and has been our number one all year long. She did a good job against a very good hitting team of keeping the ball down, and the defense responded behind her.”
Bellbrook will face Valley View at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Centerville High School.