The Brentwood softball team isn’t accustomed to enduring a losing streak or owning a sub-.500 record.
On Tuesday, the Lady Bruins got rid of both.
Using a couple of long balls and some well-orchestrated small ball, Brentwood notched a 5-4 walk-off victory over Page in a key District 11-AAA game at Granny White Park.
Brentwood senior Ansley Casillas led off the bottom of the seventh with an infield single and came around to score the winning run on a throwing error, setting off a big celebration by the Lady Bruins.
Emily Cockrill and Kaleigh Bottoms both hit solo homers in the win for Brentwood (12-12, 6-1), and Cockrill went the distance in the circle, finishing with four walks and three strikeouts.
The victory was an emotional boost for the Lady Bruins, who endured four straight losses over the weekend while competing against a high-quality field in the Raptor Classic. The four-game skid dropped the Lady Bruins to 11-12 overall before they evened their record with Tuesday’s victory.
“That was the first time in my 15 years as head coach that we’ve lost four straight games and the first time that we’ve been under .500 — so we really needed this one today,” said Brentwood coach Erica Powell about the tradition-rich Lady Bruins, who’ve advanced to the state tournament in each of the past two seasons and a total of 13 times in program history. “This was a big game, and a big win, for us.”
Despite Brentwood’s uncharacteristic overall record, the Lady Bruins are winning when it matters most. Their 6-1 mark in district play has them once again hovering around the top of the 11-AAA standings as they head into back stretch of the district schedule and gear up for the 11-AAA tournament.
Tuesday’s game felt almost like a postseason contest, especially during the eventful final two innings in which Page rallied to take a 4-3 lead before Brentwood answered.
Page finished with nine hits — including two apiece from Lyza Dehainaut and Josey Polk — but the Lady Patriots stranded 11 runners, including seven in scoring position, during the hard-luck loss.
Brentwood manufactured the winning run in the bottom of the seventh without hitting the ball out of the infield. Casillas led off the inning with infield single and Indy Cockrill followed with a perfectly-placed bunt that eluded the Page defense. Emily Cockrill then laid down another bunt that resulted in a Page throwing error, enabling Casillas to scamper home from third base with the decisive run.
“I knew I just had to get on base, and try to get something started — and maybe get in their heads a little bit,” said Casillas. “My job was just to get 60 feet, and then let the hitters behind me do the rest.”
Casillas ended the game in dramatic fashion — with a head-first slide into the plate. Her teammates then poured out of the dugout for a celebration.
“This was a good win for us because it was an all-around team win,” said Powell. “Everyone contributed.”
Brentwood owned a 3-1 lead after Cockrill hit her solo shot to center field in the fifth. But Page rallied in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs — capped by Ellie Dehainaut’s go-ahead RBI single — to grab a 4-3 lead.
The Lady Bruins answered in the sixth when Bottoms launched her solo blast to center field to tie the game at 4-4. Page centerfielder Jenna Johnson made a valiant leaping attempt to try to rob Bottoms of the homer, but the ball carried beyond her reach. Johnson crash-landed on the temporary fence, which needed a quick repair job before play continued.
That set the stage for seventh-inning small ball by the Lady Bruins.
“I just wanted them to put the ball in play, and get the bunts down — which they did,” said Powell.
Bottoms finished 2-for-3 to pace Brentwood, adding a second-inning double to go with her homer. No other Brentwood player finished with multiple hits, but the Lady Bruins had plenty of output from the rest of the lineup. Emily Cockrill, Elisabeth Laviolette, Jenna Gallaway, Casillas and Indy Cockrill had one each, and Kaylee Seidel scored a run.
For Page, Lyza Dehainaut finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Ellie Dehainaut drove in a pair of runs. Polk went 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and Johnson was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Hallie Hastings, Rayne Gray and Avery McIllwain added one hit each, and Morgan Riley and Sofia Cuevas each scored a run.
Gray opened the game in the circle, and worked six effective innings, limiting Brentwood to two earned runs and recording four strikeouts.
Brentwood 5, Page 4
Page 000 013 0 — 4 9 3
Brentwood 002 011 1 — 5 7 2
2B — Kaleigh Bottoms (Brent). HR — Kaleigh Bottoms (Brent), Emily Cockrill (Brent). SB — Indy Cockrill (Brent), Josey Polk (Page), Jenna Johnson 2 (Page). S — Yasmine Chauhan (Page). SF — Ellie Dehainaut.
Franklin 5, Centennial 4
The Lady Rebels scored three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth before hanging on for the win against the visiting Lady Cougars in a crosstown District 11-AAA battle.
Sydney Harris gave Franklin the lead with a two-run single to right with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Carli LaRocque’s sacrifice fly plated the first Lady Rebel run prior.
In the sixth, Aubrea Tucker crunched a run-scoring double and Jean Costello drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to center for a 5-2 advantage.
Centennial threatened in the seventh. Lexi Sigmon smacked a triple after Chloe Henderson reached on an error to lead off the frame to make it 5-3. K. Burgett drove in Sigmon on a pop-out to left, but the Lady Cougars grounded out on the next two at-bats to end the contest.
Tucker went 2-for-3 with and RBI and a pair of runs scored, Harris had two RBIs and earned the win striking out seven and surrendering six hits with two earned runs and three walks.
Sigmon had two hits with two runs scored and an RBI. Chloe Henderson added a hit, two runs scored and a pair of stolen bases for the Lady Cougars.
Brentwood Academy 9, Lipscomb Academy 6
The Lady Eagles pounded out 11 hits and scored the first five runs in a home win against the Lady Mustangs Tuesday.
Felicity Chandler collected three RBIs on a triple in the fifth and added a single, while Ellie Smith and Emma Tabscott each added two hits with Tabscott driving in a pair of runs. Caroline Clemmer added a double.