Bruins shut down Golden Bears

Oak Glen’s Alexa Andrews tracks down a fly ball during Thursday’s game at Brooke. (Photo by Joe Catullo)

WELLSBURG, W.Va. — Brooke’s Rachel Kazmirski was on cruise control for a good bit of the game, and though she did experience a few speed bumps along way, the Bruins junior ace shut down Oak Glen.

Kazmirski struck out 13, collected two assists and caught a popped-up bunt en route to pitching a no-hitter leading the Brooke softball team to a 4-0 victory in the season-opening game for both teams Thursday evening at Brooke.

“Rachel did a real-nice job,” Brooke (1-0) head coach Jim DiCarlo said. “I thought her pitches had a good movement. Her pitches were moving well, but there is always room for improvement.

“Oak Glen is a really-good team. They are very well coached. I was impressed with their hitters. They battle and battle you along the way. I was impressed with them.”

Kazmirski was pitching a perfect game through 3 2/3 innings. She had four 1-2-3 innings, and she registered five-straight strikeouts at one point.

“We did not string a complete game together,” Oak Glen (0-1) head coach Sherrie Garner said. “They did a good job. Kudos to their pitcher and their defense. We left three runners on third base. We have to find a way to push runs across. When you see a pitcher three times, the girls are going to get going. The girls did a nice job. I am proud of them.”

The Bruins scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning before tacking on an insurance run in the sixth.

“I felt pretty good early on because we were making contact,” DiCarlo said. “I thought eventually the ball would find a hole. We had some clutch hits. Carly Julio had a big hit. We laid down a sacrifice bunt. We did the little things that we needed to do against a good team.

“I think players are uptight or nervous in the first game. We have kids with experience. We beat a good team. Oak Glen is one of the better teams in Class 4A. I was really impressed with them.”

The Golden Bears left a base runner on third in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

“We were not able to practice outside a lot,” Garner said. “You can only do so much indoors. We didn’t see a lot of live pitching. We did scrimmage Linsly. Every pitcher is different.

Brooke’s pitcher has a good amount of speed, and her pitchers had good movement. She is a good player.

“I think our kids are definitely going to come around. They did today.”

Kazmirski walked two batters – both coming with two outs in the fourth.

The Golden Bears used two pitchers in the game.

Janaya Montgomery started and took the loss. She allowed three runs on three hits, and she struck out three while walking one in her five innings of work inside the circle.

Madison McKay pitched the sixth. She allowed one run on no hits, while striking out two and walking one.

The Bruins mustered three hits – one of which went for extra bases – in the victory. Individually, Gabby Veltri tallied a single and a triple, Kloee Billick collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Julio contributed a single.

The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth.

Maleaha Misch led off the inning for Brooke by drawing a walk. Then with one out, Landyn Haynes reached on an error to put two runners on base before Julio singled up the middle. The ball bounced away from the centerfielder allowing Misch and Haynes to score and Julio to end up on third as the Bruins took a 2-0 advantage.

Next, Billick plated Julio with a sacrifice fly to center to increase Brooke’s advantage to 3-0. Veltri followed with a triple, but Montgomery was able to induce a ground out to get out of the inning without any more damage being done.

In the sixth, Haynes produced a run by herself. She walked with one out, stole second and third and then scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-0.

Offensively, it was a game of missed opportunities for Oak Glen.

“You have a limited number of chances to score,” Garner said. “She (Kazmirski) did a good job working under pressure that’s for sure.”

Kazmirski made some key pitches with runners on base.

“Rachel had some big strikeouts,” DiCarlo said. “She had a big strikeout with one out and a runner on third. We still need to do a better job with errors.”

Both teams committed two errors.

Oak Glen is scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. today at East Fairmont.

“The girls will get out of school early on a Friday,” Gardner said. “They will be happy about that. Our sectional is so big. I hope we are able to find a way to score runs. Hopefully, the rain will hold off tomorrow. The weather was great for a game today. You don’t get this weather in May.”

Brooke is scheduled to play a doubleheader starting at noon Saturday at Morgantown.

“I was very happy with how we played,” DiCarlo said. “We showed a lot of resiliency. We gave a blue collar effort.”

Oak Glen starting catcher Hannah Walker was injured in the bottom of the sixth. Haynes foul tipped a pitch that hit Walker in the mask/face. Walker was down for a couple of minutes before walking off of the field. She was replaced behind the plate by Amber Moore.

OAK GLEN: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0–0-0-2

BROOKE: 0-0-0-3-0-1-x–4-3-2

OAK GLEN (0-1): Montgomery (LP, 5IP, 3R, 3H, 3K, 1BB), McKay (1IP, 1R, 0H, 2K, 1BB) and Walker and Moore (6).

BROOKE (1-0): Kazmirski (WP, 7IP, 0R, 0H 13K, 2BB) and Haynes.

TWO OR MORE HITS: Brooke (Veltri 2). TRIPLES: Brooke 1 (Veltri). RBIs: Brooke 1 (Billick).