Braves pound Peshtigo

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Braves already look to be in midseason form, and that’s both a blessing and a curse for manager Gerry Smith. Gladstone romped to a 10-0 mercy rule victory over Peshtigo, Wis. Friday, in a game that technically ended in the fifth inning.

Both teams elected to keep playing past that point however due to the lack of games in this harsh spring.

“The biggest thing was, we do need the innings. It’s been a long time coming,” said Smith. “But the weather was a little better tonight than it was against Marquette.”

In all facets of the game, the Braves were churning along nicely. On the mound, Christine Sharon was outstanding, tossing a no-hitter. After walking the first batter she faced, she retired the next 15 straight, striking out six.

“Especially after the Marquette game, it felt really good to throw strikes,” said Sharon. “The first inning it was a little cold, but after that I felt really good.”

Smith said he was keeping Sharon’s accomplishment under wraps during the game.

“Teener looked a little better tonight than she looked the other night. Like I told her though, I’ll never tell you that because I don’t want them to know (during the game),” he said. “She did throw well. She started out a little rickety with the walk in the first inning and she straightened out. It’s good, she needed that.”

The Braves fielding was on too, as right fielder Grace Zimmermann made an impressive diving catch on a Bulldogs fly ball in the top of the second inning.

“That was a beauty out there in right field,” remarked Smith.

And at the plate, the Braves racked up 12 hits and made the most of them.

They got on the board in the bottom of the first when Lexi Hongisto sent Sharon home on a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the second, Jess Beaudry kicked things off with a solo home run and the Braves tacked on three more runs to lead 4-0.

The game ended midway through the fifth inning, where the Braves poured on five more runs, four of them coming after Gladstone loaded the bases with no outs. One run was walked in, two more came on base singles and the final score was reached on an error.

The teams elected to keep playing through what would have been the sixth inning.

Beaudry was 3-3 at the plate and Jordan Kowalski, Sharon, Hongisto and Alexis St. Cyr each had two hits. Cyr had an RBI triple on a well hit ball to right field in the bottom of the second.

“The hits came real timely today. Every time we needed one, we got one., and that’s what the game’s about, getting key hits at the right time,” said Smith.

Peshtigo used three pitchers in the game, fielded decently and got bats on balls, but their would-be hits were line drives right to the Gladstone fielders.

“When we come here we know who we’re playing against,” said Bulldogs manager Tom Christensen. “They’re a good coaching staff and they always have a fine ball team. Usually we travel pretty well, but the girls sometimes don’t have the best day.

“I told the girls just put the bat on the ball and pretty soon they’ll start dropping. We had quite a few balls that were hit, unfortunately right to the fielders. But still, the confidence is there to hit good pitching, so we’ll bring that back home and hopefully they’ll fall a little better next week.”