BROOKFIELD - The first 6 1/2 innings in a Division III sectional semifinal Wednesday between Brookfield and LaBrae had been a clean, nearly perfect pitchers' duel between LaBrae's Jessica Buck and Alyssa Gould of Brookfield.
There had been only three hits and four total baserunners in the scoreless contest.
Ironically, with that level of play, the Vikings committed two errors in the bottom of the seventh that put the winning run on third base, and Ashleigh Vivo came through with a base hit to score pinch-runner Katie McMullin to give the Warriors a 1-0 victory.
Broadfield coach Tom Reed comments
"I wasn't nervous," Vivo said. "I just hit because I knew our team needed it. That's it."
"We've been struggling as a team the last couple weeks with some close losses, but she came through," said Brookfield coach Tom Reed.
Brookfield pitcher Alyssa Gould began the seventh by reaching on an error and advanced to second as LaBrae third baseman Maddie Kiser threw the ball over the head of first baseman Ashley Stubbs. McMullin then pinch-ran for Gould. After Haylee Hogue fouled out to catcher Laura Hall, Shannon Chrnko grounded to shortstop Somer McCoy, who threw wildly to Kiser, earning an error and putting runners at second and third, bringing up Vivo.
Vivo lined a 1-0 pitch from Buck to center field for the winning run.
"The key was the errors. We got on on an error, on a throw from third base, then after that it was small ball to get her in," Reed said. "We got the advancement of the runners and Ashleigh Vivo came through with the big hit."
"We didn't hit the ball like we should've," LaBrae coach Demetra Noble said. "We had two hits and it came down to one hit for them and two errors and that cost us the game. Both pitchers pitched well and that's what softball's all about. A couple errors and it cost you."
Gould struck out 10 and allowed just two hits, both to Buck. Gould struck out two in the first and fourth innings and struck out the side in the third.
"I thought it was probably one of the best ever for me," she said. "I threw my pitches, didn't let it bother me when they hit the ball. I just came back and pitched 10 times harder. I did what I could and had a team behind me."
"All her pitches were working," Reed said. "She was hitting her locations. It was nice. It's been a while since I've seen that from her. She's struggled the last couple weeks but she came through today."
Buck was the hard-luck loser for LaBrae (10-14). She pitched a perfect game until allowing a walk to Shantee Trudo and a single to Lauren Hawley in the sixth. Buck pitched her way out of the jam and kept the game scoreless.
"Absolutely, she was on fire. She did fantastic," Noble said of Buck. "She had both hits also. We'd get her on and couldn't bring her around. We couldn't do anything to make anything happen."
Brookfield (13-10) visits Pymatuning Valley in a sectional final at 4:30 today.