Kale (K)Os Mitchell
The Thomas Jefferson softball team is 2-0. Behind another dominant performance from sophomore Brianna Kale in the circle, the Lady Gryphons were able to capture a 6-4 win over Mitchell Wednesday afternoon at Crowe Park.
Kale recorded the first 10 outs of the contest via punchout en route to a 15-strikeout performance. She now has 27 strikeouts in two games this season.
“I’ve said this team is built on pitching and defense from the very beginning,” said TJCA head coach Jamie Hicks. “Brianna pitched great and really bore down when she got into trouble. I don’t want to overlook what our offense did, but anytime you can get pitching and defense, you are going to win softball games.”
Kale started out hot from the circle, striking out the side on nine pitches in the top of the first. TJCA then struck for a run in the bottom half. Emily Allred led off the inning by drawing a walk. She came home on a base hit by Taylor Hardin to give TJCA a 1-0 lead.
Kale walked the bases loaded with no outs in the second, but only gave up one run on a fielder’s choice. She settled down and struck out the side to leave the game tied 1-1 .
TJCA took the lead back in their next at bat. Asia Wilson was hit by pitch and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Hardin sent a RBI triple to score Brooke Greene and give the Lady Gryphons a 3-1 lead.
After the Lady Mountaineers scored a run in the fourth, the visitors loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth. But then Asia Wilson flashed her leather as she made a leaping grab at second and flipped to first for the 4-3 double play.
“That was a huge play,” Hicks said. “Whenever you have bases loaded and nobody out, it’s not a good situation. But we bowed our backs and got out of it.”
TJCA took advantage of an error in the bottom half. Lauren Brown reached on error and scored later in the inning on a passed ball.
After Mitchell tied the game in the sixth, Allred delivered a RBI single. She then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. Kale then drove her in with a fielder’s choice to make the score 6-4.
Kale put the finishing touches on the win by striking out the side in the seventh, to account for the 6-4 final.
TJCA opens conference play Friday as they host Lincoln Charter. First pitch is set for 4:30 pm at Crowe Park.
THOMAS JEFFERSON 6, MITCHELL 4
^123^456^7 — R H E
MHS^010^102^0 — 4 6 2
TJ^120^102^X — 6 6 1
WP: B. Kale (2-0) 15 K
Leading Hitters: E. Allred 2-3 BB R, T. Hardin 3-4 3B RBI