By SAM McGAW
There’s a new queen of Region 6-AAA softball.
The Brentwood Lady Bruins took the throne Wednesday with an 11-1 victory in five innings against defending three-time region champion Dickson County at Crockett Park.
It’s the Lady Bruins’ first region title since 2008, and the win gives them home-field advantage for Friday’s Class AAA sectional matchup against Mt. Juliet.
“We haven’t been to the sectional game since (2009), so this is a big deal,” Brentwood second-year coach Erica Powell said. “They just came out ready to hit. I told them if they come ready to hit, we can make an error or two, we can give up a run and we can give up a few hits and it would be okay.”
The Lady Bruins enter the sectional round on the heels of their fourth straight win by mercy rule. They’ve outscored their opponents 49-7 during that span.
“This is really big for Brentwood softball,” Brentwood infielder Annie Bruns said. “We are all jumping off the walls. We’re playing so hard and we’re playing our hearts out. It’s amazing.”
Brentwood pounced on the Lady Cougars early in the first inning with a two-run home run by Ansley Casillas and a two-run single by Kaleigh Bottoms.
“I know if (leadoff hitter Hope Wells) gets on and I get on, the rally is going to go,” said Casillas, who finished with three RBI. “I helped my team and that’s all that matters.”
An RBI single by Hannah Koenig and three-run home run by Bruns extended the lead to 8-0 in the second frame.
Casillas plated Kayla Mills with a sac fly and Koenig drove in Elisabeth Laviolette with a single for an 10-1 advantage in the third inning. Frankie Cable scored the game’s final run on a sacrifice fly by Mills in the fourth.
“I think it’s huge to have Hope at the top get on base and for Ansley to hit that home run in the beginning,” Powell said. “That gives everyone else confidence that they can hit the ball. The top of your lineup against a good pitcher sets the tone for the rest.”
Koenig threw four strikeouts, as she leaned on the scouting report her coach provided.
“Hannah did such a great job,” Powell stated. “Normally, she throws mostly rise balls. But we knew with this team we didn’t want them to lift it out of the park, so we threw a ton of drop balls, and it was working really well.
“The way we controlled them in the last game was by not trying to strike them out. We were throwing it (low), so if they were going to get a base hit, it was going to be in the park.”
The winner between Brentwood and Mt. Juliet will advance to the Class AAA state tournament in Murfreesboro next week.