by Chris Lee
In Brentwood’s biggest softball game in nearly a decade, coach Erica Powell needed her star, Hannah Koenig, to show up in a big way.
Koenig didn’t disappoint.
The senior, who’ll be playing at Louisiana Tech next year, held Dickson County to one run in five innings and went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs batted in, as the Bruins shellacked the Cougars, 11-1, in the Region 6-AAA championship game at Brentwood’s Crockett Park on Wednesday night.
Catcher Ansley Casillas and third baseman Annie Bruns also added home runs for Brentwood, which built an 8-0 lead and ended the night after 4 1/2 innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“We haven’t been to this game, to the sectional game, since 2008, and that’s a big deal,” Brentwood coach Erica Powell said. “I told them that, that, if they’ll come out ready to hit, we could give up a run like we did, give up a few hits, and we’d be okay.”
With the two teams being quite familiar with each other, Powell knew the Bruins needed to mix things up on the mound. The plan of attack was to have Koenig work the Cougars low in the strike zone and get ground balls.
“Today, (working low) was kind of the plan,” Koenig said. “This is the sixth time we’ve faced them this season, so we’ve had to try something a little different every time. Today, that’s what was working so we just kept going with it.”
“You saw how many ground balls we got,” Powell said, “and that’s exactly what we wanted.”
Koenig struck out the game’s first two hitters, then got a grounder to short to end the second.
She then leaned on her defense in the next two innings.
With the bases loaded and one out, Dickson County’s Kaylee Triplett hit a screamer headed towards right-center. But second baseman Kaylee Seidel made a leaping grab to spear it, then threw to second to double off the runner.
In the third, shortstop Hope Wells fielded a grounder and flipped to Siedel at second, where she tagged the bag and threw to first for another double play.
By that time, it was basically over. Bruns had smacked a three-run homer to left-center the previous half-inning, giving Brentwood an eight-run lead.
A Wells sacrifice fly to right added another in the third, and Koenig plated the 10th run on a single.
Frankie Cable pushed the margin to 10 when Kayla Mills had a sacrifice fly to center in the fourth.
The only blemish came in the third, when Dickson County’s Baker Sensing had a single that scored Spencer Sensing.
There were smiles all around when the team posed with the championship plaque in the infield moments afterwards. Bruns admitted afterwards that a couple hours before, she hadn’t realized what was at stake.
“I didn’t know this was the regional game,” Bruns said. “I thought this was the seeding for Friday, so I was just playing like a regular game. But this is obviously huge. This is really big for Brentwood softball. This hasn’t happened in 10 years, so we were all jumping off the walls.
“We were playing so hard. We were playing our little hearts out. This was incredible. This was amazing. It’s so much fun.”
Brentwood will stay in town and face either Henry County or Mt. Juliet next. The Bruins normally play at Granny White Pike adjacent to their campus, but Powell and players said they enjoyed the location change six miles across town, and could opt to stick with what worked on Wednesday for their next contest.