Brunswick High wasted no time against M.L. King-Lithonia in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, eliminating and shutting out the Lions 12-0, 9-0 on Wednesday.
The Pirates advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Brunswick made it to the second round that year but got eliminated by River Ridge.
Brunswick averaged 4.6 runs a game but found its hot bats on Wednesday as the Pirates scored 21 runs between the two games. However, it was the pitching that ultimately allowed the offense to get hot.
In Game 1, the Pirates wasted no time as they scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, two in the third and four more in the fourth. Brunswick’s defense stayed lights out and forced the mercy-rule after four innings.
Starting pitcher, Erica Bentley put on a show during Game 1. She pitched four innings, striking out seven batters and walking one. As for the Lions pitcher Ta’Niyah Fletcher, she gave up 12 runs on 10 hits.
She recorded four strikeouts and six walks in Game 1.
Fletcher threw 115 pitches compared to Bentley’s 59. So she was three throws away from double what Bentley did.
In Game 1, the offense was led by Raelyn DePratter, Jayla Hollingsworth and Alyssa Giles. All three girls drove in runs, in the second inning alone, with Giles reaching in the first as well.
Giles went 1-of-3 from the plate, got walked once and had an RBI. Hollingsworth got walked twice but scored three runs and went 1-of-1 from the plate. DePratter went 2-of-3, scoring twice and hitting one RBI.
Brunswick also recorded 12 stolen bases in Game 1, which four players recording more than one. Giles led the way with three.
The Pirates average 2.6 stolen bases a game but managed to tally 16 total against the Lions.
Game 2 was a lot like Game 1. The Pirates came out hot on offense, and Bentley continued to dominate from the pitcher’s circle as she threw back-to-back no-hitters.
On the mound, she pitched four and two-thirds inning striking out seven batters and walked one. Through both games, Bentley recorded 14 strikeouts and two walks. She was a force on the mound.
Fletcher started for the Lions again in Game 2, and it was similar to her Game 1 performance. She gave up nine runs on eight hits, with six of them earned. Fletcher did strike out six batters and walked three. She also gave up three homers as well.
All three home runs came from Giles, and all three were in the park dingers. She went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
Eubank recovered from the first game as she also went 3-for-3, which includes a double and a triple. These two led the way for the Pirates as they both scored multiple runs.
Brunswick scored its first run off Giles’ first solo shot and finished the first leading 2-0. The Pirates scored three more runs in the third inning, including another dinger from Giles. M.L. King found a way to keep the Pirates scoreless in the third inning, but the bats didn’t stay cold for long. Brunswick collected its four final runs.
DePratter started the inning out, reaching second base on an error by the Lions center fielder. Then she stole third base during Kay Kay Heidt at-bat. Heidt struck out, but that didn’t discourage the Pirates. She scored on a wild pitch.
Hollingsworth got walked and then stole second. She advanced to third on another M.L. King error, this time by the second baseman. Hollingsworth reaches home on a passed ball by the catcher during Giles at-bat.
With the 2-0 count, Giles smashed a line drive to left field, which resulted in her final inside the park home run. This score gave Brunswick an 8-0 lead with one out. Eubank hit a double with two outs that scored Williford, giving the Pirates their final run of the game.
M.L. King got the top of the fifth to find some magic, but hit a ground out, popped it up for the second out, and the third out came from Bentley. The mercy-rule took effect and ended the game.
It was an overall good day for Brunswick as they advance to the next round of the playoffs. Up next for Brunswick will be Class 6A Region 4’s No. 1 seed Creekview. The Pirates will travel up to Canton to take on the Grizzles next Tuesday.