By Dave Morrison
NEW RICHMOND – Almost dutifully, senior teammates Jazz Blankenship and Kelsey Green wrapped Wyoming East teammate Holly Brehm in tissue paper after an 8-0 softball victory against Logan.
Nobody was really sure the significance. Maybe it’s the new way to honor a player who just achieved a long-time goal. Brehm did that recording her career 1,000th strikeout when she set down Logan’s Emma Elkins in what would be an 8-0 victory Wednesday.
Her teammates came to the mound and congratulated Brehm, her dad and assistant coach J.R. gave her a hug and even the umpires got a handshake in after she recorded 1,000th.
Ironically, her first strikeout came against the same Logan team as a freshman.
“It’s a big accomplishment I’ve been wanting since my freshman year,” Brehm said. “I was really glad I got to get it her at home with all my friends and family here to support me.”
Brehm entered the game needing 13 strikeouts she and immediately set the tone, striking out the side on 10 pitches in the first inning and then striking out four in the second, after a passed ball allowed Elkins to advance to first after a strikeout.
The Ohio University signee struck out the first nine Wildcats she faced and the final six and totaled 17 strikeouts in the game.
It was yet another no-hitter for Brehm and another shutout as she 500 innings pitched. It was her ninth shutout of the season and the 39th of her career. She is 65-14 in her high school career.
“It’s pretty special,” her dad J.R., an all-state athlete at Mullens, said. “I’ve been there for every one and it’s been a joy to watch her pitch all of them. Hopefully she’ll have many more this year.”
“I can only think of one other girls who did that, a girl from Man when she was pitching every game. See, Holly hasn’t pitched every, every year. When we had Kaitlin Mills we’d flip-flop back and forth. Last year Holly didn’t pitch every game. This year she’s not pitched in a game and a half and she probably won;t pitch in a few others. She keeps us in games.”
The victory also marked an awakening of the bats, which lay dormant the previous week in three 1-0 games. Brehm’s pitching helped Wyoming East win two of those games.
Brehm had two hits, the homer her second of the season and 13th of her career and she scored twice and drove in two others in the game, which seemed to signify an awakening of the bats, which had been nearly dormant the previous week in three 1-0 games (Wyoming East was 2-1 in those games).
“It’s about time we started hitting,” Warner said. “We changed the batting order, we changed everything and I guess it helped. It couldn’t have hurt. Nobody was hitting. Everything as changed around and it seemed to help/ Everybody got a piece of it.”
Eight Wyoming East players had hits as part of the Lady Warriors 11-hit attack.
Catcher Paige Laxton, not yet ready to return behind the plate, served as the designated hitter in the game and had two hits, including her second home run of the season and she scored twice and drove in two
No. 9 hitter Haleigh Parsons had three hits, including a double and scored a run and had a RBI and Olivia Hylton, on her birthday, had the game-ending RBI in the sixth.
Hylton got things started in the first, arching on a fielder’s choice. Brehm followed sending a shot over the fence in right-center field to make it 2-0. Laxton followed with a single and scored on a Kelsey Green double to make it 3-0.
In the second the hot bats continued. Brehm started it with a one-out single, and Laxton, a freshman, had her second homer of the season. With two outs, Green, Trinity Cook and Parsons host back-to-back-to-back doubles, with Green and Cook scoring, making it 7-0.
Parsons led off the sixth with a single moved to second on a Blankenship sacrifice and then scored on a two-out single by Hylton to end it.
Brehm said among her strikeouts, the 1,000th is amongst the ones she will remember but many games stand out.
“There are a few games that have been pretty big,” Brehm said. “When we beat Sissonville freshman year, that was big, and beating Shady the last two years to make it to states was big as well.”
The game made Wyoming East 12-3. Brehm is 11-2.
Wyoming East 8, Logan 0
Logan 000 000 – 0 0 0
Wyoming East 304 001 – 8 11 1
Battery – L: Emma Vinson and Reagan Quick. WE: Holly Brehm and Miranda Hurley. WP – Brehm 5.0 IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 17K. LP – Vinson 5.2 IP 11H 8R 8ER 0BB 2K. Hitting – L: none. WE: Miranda Hurley 1-4, Olivia Hylton 2-4 (run, RBI), Holly Brehm 2-3 (HR, 2 runs, 2RBI), Paige Laxton 2-3 (HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Kelli Cameron 1-3 (2B, RBI), Kelsey Green 1-2 (2B, run), Trinity Cook 1-3 (run, RBI), Haileigh Parsons 3-3 (2B, run, RBI).