Shady Spring came into Monday’s AA Region 3 softball game with the reputation as a home run hitting club.
But was Wyoming East’s Holly Brhem who showed the power.
Brhem swatted a three-run homer in the second inning and fired a one-hitter as the Lady Warriors scored an 8-0 win and moved within one game of the a trip to the state tourney.
“Holly put us on her back and carried us,” said East coach Robert “Doc” Warner.
Brhem was 4-4 at the plate and had two doubles along with the home run.
She also fanned 13 and kept the Tigers off the board. She hasn’t allowed an earned run in East’s four tourney games to date.
“It gives me chills,” she said when asked about being so close to East’s first ever state tournament berth. “We’re so close yet so far away.”
The Warriors (22-5) got as many runs as they would need in the first.
Lexi Booth walked, moved up on a wild pitch and went to third on a passed ball.
Brehm singled to left-center to score Booth and make it 1-0.
East added to its lead in the second, and the bottom of the line up set the table.
“When the bottom of the lineup produces for us, we usually win,” Warner said.
Autie Miller punched a 1-2 pitch to center to get the inning started.
Miller advanced to second and then third on passed balls.
Senior Karah Culicerto laid down a bunt to bring Miller in and give East a 2-0 edge.
Phoebe Zeboskey walked.
One out later, Brhem blasted the ball to right for a three-run shot.
“I was trying to hit (to) right and got a good pitch to hit,” Brhem remarked.
The Tigers had opporuntities in the early innings. They put the leadoff batter on base in each of the first three innings. And the runner reached third in the first and second.
Courtesy runner Gracie Hamb tried to score from third in the second inning, but East catch Katie Griffith was waiting to tag her to end the threat.
WEHS scored twice in the fourth to push the lead ot 7-0.
A run in the sixth ended the game under the mercy rule.
Booth walked, and Brhem doubled. Two outs later, Kari Walker reached on a walk to load the bases.
A passed ball allowed a run to cross the plate and end the game.
Culicerto was 2-3 with a run batted in for East.
Miller and Walker were each 1-2.
Brooke Clarke had the only hit for Shady.
Maranda Allen took the loss.
The teams meet in Game 2 at Shady Spring Tuesday at 6 p.m.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.
Photo: Wyoming East players celebrate at home plate after Holly Brehm hit as three-run home run in Monday’s Region 3 softball tournament game.