By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion Braves split last week’s games, suffering a loss to Normal Community and winning against Rochester.
Against Normal Community, the game remained scoreless through the first two innings. Emma Conover led off the third inning for the Rockets with a single. Annika Brown brough Conover past home-plate with a RBI single to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Cadan Brinkman hit an RBI double to give the Rockets a 2-0 lead.
The Braves responded when Gwen Bender got on base after a wild pitch and then an error throw advanced her to second base. Kayla Schnippel stepped to the plate and hit an RBI single to the centerfield gap that scored Bender to narrow the Rockets lead to 2-1.
The third and fourth inning were scoreless. In the sixth, the Rockets added two runs to make the score 4-1. In the bottom of the fourth, the Braves put Dakota Harrison and Kennedy Highley on base. Lauren Waller cleaned up the bases with a hit to the right centerfield gap for a two RBI double to cut the Rockets lead to 4-3.
The Rockets walked Sierra Hiser and that brought Karlie Teal in as a pinch-hitter. Teal hit an RBI single to the right field gap to tie the game at 4-4. Despite the three run innings, the Rockets responded in the top of the seventh inning to win 7-4.
“We had chances to win and those are games we need to win,” Head coach Greg Blakey said. We had four leadoff walks which hurt us and we didn’t play stellar defense. Those are games we need to find ways to win.”
Against Rochester, the Braves won 15-5. The Braves improve to 7-5 on the season and will face Cumberland. St. Joseph, Maroa-Forsyth, Mattoon, Pleasant Plains, Marion and Olympia.