DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
A familiar opponent delivered a familiar postseason fate to the Indian Creek High School softball team.
Class 3A tournament host Tri-West ended the Braves’ season Monday with a 7-0 first-round win.
The occasion marked the third straight year the Bruins (19-7) defeated Indian Creek (12-10) in the sectional.
State champions two years ago, the Bruins overpowered the Braves with 14 hits and clutch fielding.
“They seem to have our number,” Indian Creek coach Gary Mitchell said.
Tri-West applied pressure early.
It loaded the bases in the first inning and threatened to put the game away then, but two key pop-ups kept the Bruins from scoring.
Tri-West managed only a double in the second and third innings, but all the Braves could muster was an infield single by junior Sydney Williams.
Things got away from the Braves in the fourth inning, when the Bruins — on the strength of four hits, including a lead-off triple by senior Kristy Rawlings and two costly Indian Creek errors — resulted in three runs for Tri-West.
It was all Bruins after that.
Tri-West then scored four more times in the final three innings, while the Braves couldn’t put anything together until it was too late.
Indian Creek had only four total hits, advanced no runners past second base and committed six errors.
“We didn’t hit the ball, and they hit the ball well,” Mitchell said.
“Tri-West showed up and swung the bat; and when you play a good, quality team like them, you have to put them on their heels, and we never did that.
“They made us pay for it.”
Mitchell added that most of the Braves’ losses have occurred when the fell behind early.
“If we don’t put up any runs, there’s a lot of pressure,” Mitchell said.
“We have to do a better job of putting the ball in play.”
Indian Creek loses four seniors, including Michaela Smith and No. 3 hitter Cheyenne Moneymaker.
But with the nucleus of the team back, Mitchell is optimistic about the future.
“A lot of the girls will play in the summer,” Mitchell said. “This wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but we’ll hold our heads high, and we’ll be back.”