And the beat goes on – for Carli Brewer that is.
The Pulaski County Lady Cougar senior outfielder has been lights out at the plate lately and over the last several games has become arguably the team’s most consistent hitter.
Wednesday was no different as Brewer drilled the first pitch to her in the second inning to left field with Brooke Hundley, Sara Wright, and Jordan Chrisley on the bases. By the time Brewer stopped running all three had crossed the plate and Brewer was standing on third base.
They won the game 7-4, by the way, ending a gut-wrenching four-game losing streak that by all accounts should only have been two.
“We’re only five runs from a three-game win streak,” Coach Gina Miano said, referring to their two previous games. One was a wild 12-10 loss to Blacksburg that could easily have gone their way. The other was an inspired battle against the River Ridge District leading Salem Spartans that unfortunately resulted in a 6-5 loss.
Fast forward to Wednesday.
Playing in their second of three games scheduled this week – their second in two days as well – the Cougars also got help from two other seniors, Jordan Chrisley and Sara Wright, with two hits each to upend the Bobcats.
Both players finished 2-for-4 with a run batted in. One of Wright’s hits was her fifth home run of the year.
Carlie Perry, Lauren Shumate, Katie Hurst, and Chelsea Golden each added a hit in two official trips to the plate. Perry legged out a bunt single and all four scored run. Golden drove in two runs.
“It was a great opportunity to get more playing time for lots of kids and to see what they can do at the plate and in the field,” Miano said. “We’re pleased with the entire team’s development and hard daily grind to get us to our finish line.”
The Cougars scored all the runs they would need in the second. Lauren Shumate led of the inning with a single to left. Courtney Beville walked and Katie Hurst loaded the bases with a single. Chelsea Golden followed with a single up the middle to score Shumate and Beville.
Chrisley drove in Hurst with a single and then Hundley reloaded the bases on a catcher interference call.
That’s when Brewer stepped to the plate for her bases-clearing three-bagger.
The Bobcats spoiled the shutout in the bottom of the sixth. Julia Hopkins kicked off the inning with a single to centerfield. Then, Brewer’s cousin Nikki doubled to score Hopkins. However, two fly balls and a ground out to third stranded Brewer at third.
Radford managed to make the game a little more interesting with a last-gasp rally in their half of the seventh with three runs on two hits and a couple of errors. And a Brewer was right in the thick of it again with a double to left with two outs. But a ground out to third finished them off and preserved the Cougars fifth overall win of the year.
And while it wasn’t exactly like the Battle of the Bridge the gridiron guys play, Miano and company will certainly take it.
“We needed this one bad,” Miano said.
Callie Gregory pitched a gem, facing 33 batters in seven innings. She scattered four runs – only three were earned – on seven hits. She struck out one and walked two.
“We ask our pitchers to keep it at 2 or less walks and Callie consistently does this. She had a great screwball working againist Radford and we are pleased at her focus and continuous work throughout the entire seven innings. We are very pleased with her development,” Miano said.
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup, Miano had been hoping the offense’s alarm clock would go off and that her well-chronicled sleeping giant of a team would quit making blunders in the field and begin hitting the ball like she knows they can.
Wednesday the alarm clock began buzzing. But the real test will be if the Cougars can win on the road.
“We win at home. When we start winning away from home then I’ll know (the alarm clock) has gone off,” Miano said.
And it better be soon. The district tournament is only four short games away.
They’re praying no one hits the snooze button.