Lady Brahmans softball team wins three in a row

The Okeechobee High School Lady Brahmans softball team got a much-needed spark after what had been a somewhat slow start to their season when they stacked three back-to-back wins in the span of six days.

The Lady Brahmans officially got the winning streak started with a 10-1 blowout of South Fork on March 21, but you could make an argument that the positive momentum for Okeechobee really began in the game before South Fork when the Lady Brahmans faced Vero Beach on March 11.

Okeechobee came into the Vero game with an 0-6 record, and when Vero Beach out up five runs early in the first inning it looked like Okeechobee might be heading for another crushing defeat. But the Lady Brahmans would go on to nearly pull off the comeback.

In the third inning Lady Brahman Lauren Sills stepped to the plate with Brooke Santiago and Alex Fulford on third and second base respectively. On a 1-2 count Sills connected on a ground ball that was mishandled by a Vero infielder and brought home Santiago and Fulford. Sills was able to come home on that same error by the Vero infielder to bring the score to 5-3. Vero was able to tack on another run in the fourth inning, but in the fifth Okeechobee took the lead thanks to RBIs by Aleina Micco, Janel Aponte, and Alex Fulford.

Although Vero would go on to win 9-7 thanks to a three-run seventh inning, it was by far the most resilient performance by this Lady Brahmans team, one that could help build confidence as they move on into their season.

And the Lady Brahmans certainly looked confident in their following game against South Fork.

Okeechobee had already lost to South Fork 11-3 earlier this season on Feb. 24, but it didn’t take long for South Fork to realize they weren’t playing the same Okeechobee team from a month ago. The Lady Brahmans came out of the gate with an explosive five-run inning in the bottom of the first. RBIs by Haley Underhill, Destiny Elliot, Halle Mcduffie and Lillian Henry gave Okeechobee the big early lead. It turned out that those five runs would be all the Lady Brahmans would need to win the game as South Fork’s offense was completely stymied by the Okeechobee defense and pitcher Haley Underhill. Still, Okeechobee tacked on one run in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth to compete the blowout. Underhill pitched for all seven innings and notched eight strikeouts, throwing 13 first strike pitches.

The Lady Brahmans went for a more slow and steady approach to defeating Jensen Beach on March 22, slowly tacking on runs throughout the course of the game to secure the 5-1 victory.

Underhill struck out nine Jensen batters; Mcduffie and Aponte each had two RBIs.

The Lady Brahmans kept their positive momentum going when they moved on to face Suncoast on March 26 in Okeechobee.

The two teams were able to battle to a 5-5 tie through five innings, but things changed significantly in the bottom of the fifth.

Faith Vest got things started by bringing in two Okeechobee runs on a ground ball to second base, then Elle Thomas brought in another on a grounder of her own. Next Madison Hargraves and Destiny Elliot each brought in a RBI of their own and Brooke Santiago tacked on two more. That monster seven-run performance in the bottom of the sixth by the Lady Brahmans let Okeechobee cruise to a 12-5 win over Suncoast.

The Lady Brahmans now have a short break before their next game. They won’t see the field again until they host Martin County on April 11. Martin County is currently undefeated for their season and beat Okeechobee earlier this year 7-1 on March 7.

Martin County will see if they can top the resurgent Lady Brahmans at 6:30 p.m. on April 11 at Okeechobee High School.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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