PITSBURG – Brigette Filbrun earned her first varsity win on Thursday as she helped lead the Franklin Monroe softball team to an 11-1 victory against Twin Valley South in the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament.
Filbrun filled in for the Jets’ ace, Emilee Morris, who spent most of the game on the bench with an illness. But the change in the pitcher’s circle had little effect on Franklin Monroe as Filbrun allowed only one run on three hits and no walks.
“She stepped up big time,” Franklin Monroe coach Mike Morris said of his freshman pitcher. “We had Emilee warming up just in case they started timing her up, but she did her job. She trusted her defense and put the pitches there. Like I said if you throw strikes and trust your defense we’ll win a lot of games.”
While Filbrun had a dependable defense behind her all game, Twin Valley South struggled defensively and it led to several Franklin Monroe runs.
In the second inning Morgan Bingham led off with a double for the Jets. She then scored as Maddi Schaar reached on an error, the first of three in the inning for South.
Kinsey Goins then singled to drive in Schaar, and FM was up 2-0. Following a sacrifice bunt by Filbrun, Morgan Booher singled to drive in Goins and increase the lead to 3-0.
Carrie Baker then laid down a bunt, and Twin Valley South committed two throwing errors, allowing Booher to score all the way from first base and make it 4-0.
“We got our bunts down early and moved runners, put a little pressure on them and then we relaxed and started hitting the ball,” Coach Morris said.
In the fourth inning a fourth Twin Valley South error allowed another FM run to score. After a leadoff walk to Filbrun, South quickly recorded two outs but committed an error on a grounder by Kennedy Morris to bring in Filbrun and increase the lead to 5-0.
After taking advantage of Twin Valley South miscues early, Franklin Monroe started to get its offense going with hits in the fifth inning.
Allie Armstrong, Schaar and Goins all singled to load the bases with one out. Booher then drove in two runs with a single, making it a 7-0 game.
Following a bases-loading walk to Baker, Kennedy Morris doubled in two runners and put the Jets up 9-0. The potential game-winning run stood on third base, but Twin Valley South got a fly out to end the inning.
After managing just one hit off Filbrun in the first five innings, Twin Valley South had its most productive inning of the day in the sixth. Hailee Bright led off with a single and advanced to third on back-to-back sacrifices. She then scored when Abby Robertson drove the ball into the outfield, giving the Panthers their only run of the game.
Franklin Monroe was able to finish off the game via a run rule in the bottom of the sixth, though. Armstrong singled, Bingham walked and Emilee Morris got a pinch hit bunt single to load the bases with no outs. After a lineout back to the pitcher, Filbrun and Booher hit back-to-back RBI singles to end the game with an 11-1 run rule victory.
Franklin Monroe, the top seed in the sectional tournament, now advances to play South Charleston Southeastern in the sectional championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Miami East.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.