Braves at the mercy of mother nature

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Braves only got through the first half of the sixth inning before the dark clouds moved in and scratched the second game of their doubleheader against the Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils Thursday night. Luckily, that was all they needed to mercy the Blue Devils 14-4.

“As cold as it was, it was hard to get any softball in at all,” said Braves coach Gerry Smith. “With the rain, I don’t think we would have finished the sixth inning anyway. We had some strong hits that made (the defense) bobble because they were hard hit balls. The bat was definitely stinging tonight.”

Gladstone started off on fire, and the Blue Devils made a handful of errors that helped contribute to a massive lead early on. The Braves had five hits in the first inning from Christine Sharon, Lexi Hongisto, Jessie Beaudry, Grace Zimmerman, and Sadie Strasser. On the other hand, Sault Ste. Marie made four errors. The combination of the two gave Gladstone an 11-0 lead in just the first inning.

“They made a bunch of mistakes and we had some significant hits,” Smith said.

The Blue Devils also got their bats going, and the bad conditions turned out to be somewhat helpful to their cause. They hit three consecutive home runs that helped to chip away at the enormous hole they were in.

Despite the early trouble and the poor weather, Christine Sharon got back on track and fared considerably well.

“She did good under the circumstances,” Smith added. “The home runs were well hit, but it was also a combination of throwing into the wind. They got the ball up high and the wind just carried them. The third one just looked like a pop fly in the infield, but the next thing you knew it was carried right over the fence.”

The score was 12-4 heading into the top of the sixth. Rain had begun to fall in the top of the fourth, but the thunder and lightning was kept at bay long enough for the Braves to rally once more. There were two outs with two runners on base when Allison Austin hit a shot into the outfield that turned into a double and allowed both runners to score. Although it may have taken longer than they would have liked, Gladstone mercied the Blue Devils, and both teams were able to finally get out of the wind and rain.

“We’re just fortunate that we got the two runners on when we did so we could end it early,” Smith said.

Jordan Kowalski led the Braves with three hits in the contest.

It didn’t take long for the second game to get called off. Dark storm clouds were moving in quickly, and with them the sound of thunder grew closer and closer.

Smith said that the second game is not likely to be made up, because the team will be on their way downstate the next time they meet up with Sault Ste. Marie.

Gladstone resumes Tuesday at Rapid River.