Goshen softball loses to Brantley in home opener

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Goshen softball team couldn’t overcome stout pitching from Brantley’s Leanna Johnson Tuesday night, falling 6-1 in the Lady Eagles’ home opener and first game at their new on-campus field in Goshen.

Johnson’s opposition, Goshen starting pitcher Lizzy Galloway was formidable as well, striking out 12 batters in seven innings, but allowed six runs in the game.

In the top of the first inning, Brantley got out to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of RBIs from the Lady Bulldogs’ Kassidy Wilcox and Sydnee Bryan.

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But Galloway finished out the inning strong, striking out the final two batters to end Brantley’s early-game run.

Johnson got off to a hot start on the mound for Brantley, striking out three batters in the bottom of the first inning on her way to 16 strikeouts on the night.

Goshen head coach Amy Warrick said her team came out a little overexcited at the start of the game after the pregame ceremonies to open the team’s new field.

“They (Goshen) came out a little aggressive,” Warrick said. “We’re an aggressive team anyways and they just came out swinging for the fence. We had to make a few adjustments and back up in the box a bit and relax a little bit.”

In the second inning, Galloway calmed down, striking out two Brantley batters and holding the Lady Bulldogs scoreless.

Goshen couldn’t manage any offense over the next three innings, however, struggling to catch up to Johnson’s pitches in an attempt to chip away at the Brantley lead.

In the third inning, Brantley added a run to take a commanding 3-0 lead after a Jessica Hermeling RBI double brought in a run.

After Goshen failed to score in the fourth and fifth innings, Brantley scored two runs to take a 5-0 lead in the top of the sixth.

But in the bottom of the inning, Goshen fought back, scoring its first run of the game when Tessa Little hit a single that scored a run.

Brantley responded immediately in the top of the seventh, though, scoring one final run on its way to a 6-1 lead.

With one last chance to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, Goshen’s Carmen Kelly reached base on a single, but the Lady Eagles couldn’t muster any more offense as Johnson struck out the final Goshen batter to end the Goshen rally.

“We are going to improve and get more patient at the plate,” Warrick said. “We are going to not try to make everything happen in one swing and we are going to calm down and be satisfied with base hits. You can still tell it’s early. We’re still coming out real antsy, but we’re also doing some good things, too.”