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The Milan Ladycats opened their softball season outlawing the Brashear Tigers 5 to 4 on Saturday, August 28, 2021. Milan trailed the entire contest until exploding for 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. Some timely hits, plus costly errors proved the difference. Base hits were scarce for both squads as both pitchers exploited their dominance in the circle. Cady Pauley set down 16 Tigers. And Brashear’s Alexa Borgmeyer fanned 12 Milan Ladycats.
Cady Pauley was the winning pitcher for Milan using 117 pitches, 81strikes in 7 innings. Cady scattered 5 hits, allowed 4 runs, but only 1 earned, walked 2 Lady Tigers while striking out 16 batters. The Ladycats committed 5 errors. The Brashear hurler threw 76 pitches in 6 innings, 60 for strikes, allowing 5 runs, on only 3 hits, 2 in the deciding sixth inning, 1 walk, striking out 12 Ladycats. Brashear committed 3 errors, 2 in that fatal sixth frame.
Neither team scored in the first inning. Brashear had a lead-off walk to begin the contest, stole a base, went to third on a ground out, but was stranded. The Ladycats went down 1-2-3, all on strike outs.
Brashear led off the second with a triple by Lacey Fisher and scored on a Ladycat error, 1-0. The Ladycats answered with 1 in the bottom of the second with 1 out. Gracie Dickson collected the season’s first hit, singling to right field. A Lady Tiger base error scored Gracie to knot the score 1-1.
Brashear regained the lead scoring 2 in the top of the third. The first 2 Lady Tigers were retired then the defense collapsed. An error followed by the second triple for Lacey Fisher plated one run. Another Milan error brought in Lacey. Brashear too a 3-1 lead after 3 complete innings.
Both squads went down 1-2-3 in the fourth frame. Cady struck the side. She struck out the final 2 in the second, so she produced 5 straight at this point.
The fifth was also a quiet, quick inning for each team. This time it was Alexia’s turn, as she struck out 3 straight Ladycats.
A Ladycat error saw Brashear put their lead-off hitter on base to open the top half of the sixth inning. A stolen base and passed ball had the runner reach third. However, Cady struck out the next 3 batters to squash the Lady Tiger threat. With time running out, Milan went to work in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Janissa Martinez drew a four pitch walk, was sacrificed to second by Amy Pickering and advanced to third on another Lady Tiger error off the bat of Hallie Weaver. At this point, the Ladycats were held to one hit. Two out timely hits by Cady Pauley and Auburn Cole brought in 2 runners. Auburn’s clout was a double to left center. Auburn would later score on another Brashear error and take their first lead of the season opener. Score was 5-3 after six innings.
Brashear had one last opportunity to tie or regain the lead. Their top of the order was ready. The lead off batter singled, stole second, and went to third on a groundout. With 2 out, a Ladycat error cut the deficit to 1 run, 5-4. An infield hit put 2 runners on base. An infield grounder, second to first, ended the rally. Milan 5, Brashear 4.
Milan’s 3 hits went to Auburn, a double, and singles by Gracie and Cady. Auburn and Cady each had an RBI. One run scored apiece by Hallie, Cady, Gracie, Janissa, and pinch runner, Anna Marie Smith. Amy Pickering had a sweet sacrifice. Janissa drew the only base on balls.