Gray's double leads Berwick past Brusly

By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
Berwick sophomore Maddie Gray has been working on her swing and Tuesday she came through in a big way.

Gray, down to her last strike with a runner on second base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning of a game tied at 6, ripped a double into right field. Teammate Maria Trevino, who stood at second base, scored after the Brusly defense overthrew the catch and gave Berwick the 7-6 win, its first lead in the ballgame.

“I was glad to see her come through (because) she’s a hitter in a pressure situation,” Berwick Coach Lloyd Burchfield said of Gray. “She just kind of earned that DP (designated player) spot. She’s a good No. 9 hitter, because she just got on top of that ball.”

The game was a rematch of the Class 3A state semifinal matchup between the two squads from a year ago in which Brusly eliminated Berwick, 7-4. Brusly went on to fall to Catholic-New Iberia, 1-0, in the state finals.

While Berwick escaped with a win Tuesday in the bottom of the seventh inning, the big inning for the Lady Panthers was the sixth, in which the Lady Panthers clawed their way back from a 6-2 deficit to tie the game. The Lady Panthers were aided in the inning by four Brusly High School errors.

“The thing I’m impressed about … is we never got discouraged,” Burchfield said. “We’re down 6-2 to a team that played in the finals last year. The fact that we can come back like that.”

Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said he knew his squad would face pressure from Berwick but just couldn’t handle it.

“We played them in the semis last year, and we knew they would put pressure (on us),” he said. “They did (and) we panicked. We choked. They got the hits and give them credit.”

The one-run loss stung even more for the Brusly Panthers because the squad left runners on second and third in the sixth inning.

Berwick got out of the jam when pitcher Megan Fegenbush induced a ground ball by Brusly’s Shelby Fleming, to Berwick shortstop Abigail Ohlin, who threw Fleming out at first base.

“We had bad at-bats. Give their pitcher credit,” Bouvier said. “She made the pitches (but) we had bad at-bats. (But) it’s the sixth game of the season. Hopefully it’s a learning curve.”

Fegenbush earned the win to improve to 2-3 overall. At the plate, she was 1-for-2 with three runs.

“Megan Fegenbush pitched the best game of the year,” Burchfield said. “She threw the ball over the plate and let us play ball. She’s a bulldog out there and she showed me a whole lot today and I was very glad to see her have a lot of success today because she’s a hard worker.”

Despite the win, Berwick committed multiple errors in the ballgame that allowed Brusly to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

Berwick clawed its way back, though, in the bottom of the third when Alexis Kates reached on an error that allowed Brooke Hotard to score.

Gray followed with a groundout that scored Olivia Gilbert to cut the lead to 3-2.

Brusly responded with a run in the third and two more in the fourth to extend its lead to 6-2.

Besides Gray, Ohlin also recorded a 2-for-4 performance at the plate with two RBI and a run, while Courtney Henry was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Megan Fabre was 1-for-3 with a run.

Berwick committed six errors to Brusly’s five.

Tuesday’s game was the first of at least two meetings between the two squads, as Brusly and Berwick will meet again next weekend in the Parkview Baptist Tournament.

In the meantime, Berwick will return to action on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. when they travel to face E.D. White.

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