Prior to Mt. Zion softball taking on Mattoon, both teams participated in a cancer survivor or victim tribute where players brought on cancer survivors or said names of ones they lost as who they would be playing in honor of the game.
By BLAKE FAITH
The Mt. Zion softball team picked up five wins including two Apollo Conference wins against Mattoon and lost two non-conference games.
Against Cumberland, the Braves got into trouble early when the bases were loaded. Kayla Schnippel and the Braves’ defense were able to keep the shutout inning.
“Defense has kind of been underrated and your defense always takes the backseat to the offense, but our defense has been very good this year,” Head coach Greg Blakeys said. We had double play that got us out of a hole today and positioning was good.
Dakota, who doesn’t normally play first base, played a decent first base force today. So our defense has really pulled us out a lot of holes this year. So it’s been very good.”
The Braves offense got started with an Addison Rotz double that ended up getting to the wall. Dakota Harrison two batters later brought her in on an RBI single to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
The second inning and third inning were scoreless and Schnippel and the Braves got another shutout inning in the fifth. The Braves offense got going once again in the fourth when Schnippel and Molly Besser each hit a single and Audri Johnson was walked. Jolie Shafer then stepped to the plate and hit a shot over the left field wall for a three run homer to give the Braves a 4-0 lead.
“We started out a little slow and a little flat,” Coach Blakey said. “We started early and just didn’t, didn’t bring good energy. Then, we got the bunt down that scored the run on the error. We started to pick up a little more energy than when Julie hit the three run home run that f got us to where I thought we should be.”
The Braves continued to add to that lead with a Kennedy Highley home run and Highley struck in the fifth with a two-RBI double that gave the Braves a 10-0 win.
The Braves improved to 16-3 overall and 6-0 in Apollo Conference play. This week the Braves will face Pleasant Plains, Eisenhower and Lincoln.