Franklin’s freshman pitcher Bryleigh Carlisle has struggled at home plate this season.
Friday was a different story.
“During the warm-ups today I felt I was on the ball and it showed in the game,” Carlisle said.
Carlisle had four hits, including two doubles, and pitched a full game to lead the host Grizzly Cubs to a 14-5 victory over Indian Creek in the first round of the Johnson County Tournament.
“She was 4 for 4 and threw a phenomenal game,” Grizzly Cubs coach Kayla Craft said. “She definitely brought it tonight. This is the game we’ve been looking for all season. I think she is finally taking it to the next level, which is good for us.
Franklin (7-15) will now face Class 4A No. 2 Whiteland at 10 a.m. today in the semifinals at Center Grove. The Warriors beat Franklin twice in Mid-State Conference action.
The Grizzly Cubs took a 4-0 lead against the Braves (3-16) with two runs in the first and second innings. The Braves tied with four runs in the top of the third as rookie Jasmine Day netted a two-run brace, but Carlisle kept his cool.
“I try not to let my mistakes affect me during the game,” Carlisle said. “I am improving a lot in this area.”
Franklin came right back to regain control with two runs in third and two more in fourth on rookie Ellie Chumbley’s two-run homer. Carlisle had a brace in a sixth inning five run.
“We were pressuring them, bunting and stealing, it helps our momentum,” Craft said. “We’ve had a lot of success. We worked a lot on the strike yesterday. We capitalized on their mistakes and took the extra base. We work on that all the time, so I like that they use it in the game.”
Grizzly Cubs rookie Adeline Blackwell had three hits and two RBIs from first place.
Braves coach Gary Mitchell learned after the game that senior shortstop Emily Todor, who signed to play at Butler next season, suffered a leg injury.
“She felt like she just twisted it at first,” Mitchell said. “It just started to hurt more over time. She took her last at bat and ran it first. She’s a ball player; She tried. It might set her back a few weeks, but she’ll be fine.
Mitchell said he’s happy his young Braves are still competing.
“We fought them and fought them,” Mitchell said. “We faced their best pitcher. We made them play us. They are a well-trained team and they narrowly beat us. We hit a few shots, but we didn’t sink them into the holes. If we could get them down the aisle of power like they were close, it could have been a different game.
Mitchell said it had been a difficult year without home games due to construction work on the new sports complex.
“The children are starting to get tired, but I have never seen abandonment in them,” he said. “We have young kids who haven’t played much, but watching how they’ve matured and improved, it’s amazing.”
Craft said the future also looked bright for his team.
“I keep telling everyone we’re young, but in a few years we’re going to be really good,” Craft said.