FARRELL — It was somewhat of a new experience for Hemilynn Brazel when she stepped into the circle on Thursday afternoon. She was a JV pitcher that got called up to varsity for a couple games.
She made the most of the opportunity, however. Brazel pitched a complete game in an 18-3 win over Farrell.
Brazel struck out 14 with three runs — one earned — on six hits and four walks in five innings.
“Today was one of her two starts for varsity this year,” Ryan Gruver said. “She did phenomenal in both games. I’m very proud of her.”
Izzy Chaffee and Mya Johnson each drove in three runs for the Sailors (5-9). Chafee was 3-for-4 with an inside-the-park home run to left field and three runs scored.
Zoe Proper, Abby Barcheck, Serrenah Peterson, Chayda Krierman and Dakota Berlin had one RBI a piece. Joyce Metz, Reagan Booher and Proper all scored twice.
The Sailors scored four runs in the top of the first, six runs in the second and four more in the third. The large lead allowed Gruver to clear the bench and get his JV team some at-bats.
“They finished off the game for us,” Gruver said. “They brought a solid offense and defense out to the field. I was proud of them.”
Maria Harrison took the loss for the Steelers (0-11). She allowed 18 runs — 12 earned — on eight hits and four walks. She struck out six in a complete game.
Harrison also powered Farrell’s offense, which had six hits. She was 3-for-3 with a run scored. McKenzie Ulan had an RBI single in the third inning, and Jadda Greene and Zoee Mishata added singles in the fourth and fifth innings respectively.
“We knew coming into this game that we had a chance,” Brazel said. “We haven’t had the best season, but we’re a great group of girls — we’re like sisters. We knew that once we started hitting, we’ll be good.”
Thursday’s game featured two teams in a rebuild. The two teams were also in different stages of the process.
Gruver, a first-year coach, has some established players with Commodore Perry and Lakeview playing together in softball. He wants them to continue to improve and have fun with each other.
Farrell head coach Qasim Harrison said he had seven player that are new to softball. He is still in the process of teaching the fundamentals and learning what position fits each player.
“I’m trying to teach them to focus on just one out at a time, and when they advance past that, then we can start working on double plays and stuff like that.”
Harrison said the team has made progress over the course of the year.
He’s set small goals for each game, starting with having the inexperienced players making contact in the opener.
Now the next goal for the Harrison and the Steelers is to win games. But more importantly, he wants the program to retain its support from the community and Farrell High School. He also doesn’t want other teams thinking the Steelers are an “easy win.”
“If I can keep the girls that I got coming back, then our experience will start to show,” Harrison said. “Right now, we don’t have experience, and it shows.”
Brazel admitted that the players knew it was a rebuilding year. But one win with solid pitching and some quality at-bats could change the perspective on the a season.
“It tells us we know what we’re doing. We’re finally good,” Brazel said. “Lets go out there and lets keep winning.”