For the first time in Paige Corf's coaching career, she is bringing a team out of the first round of district play.
Fourth-seeded Brookfield softball defeated South Harrison in the Class 2 District 16 opener in Trenton on Wednesday night, 8-2, to advance to the team's first district semifinal since 2015.
Brookfield manufactured all eight of its runs in the first two innings, scoring three in the first and five in the second. Sophomore pitcher Charlee Reese dominated the game early, retiring every South Harrison batter in order until the fourth inning.
South Harrison's runs were the result of a pair of Brookfield errors in the sixth inning, but the Bulldogs quickly stopped the bleeding and coasted in the seventh.
"At the beginning of the season, we set a goal to get a district win this year," Corf said. "We've been working toward that goal, and I'm so happy for this group of seniors, but we think if we come out and play a great game tomorrow (versus Putnam County) we could get another one. Our girls came out with a great mindset tonight, and it was good to see the bats get hot early.
"Sometimes, our girls go up to the plate putting too much pressure on themselves and get frantic. We didn't see that early on tonight, they played loose."
Brookfield defeated South Harrison at the same site. On Sept. 28, the Bulldogs topped South Harrison 4-1 in the North Central Missouri College tournament. South Harrison ends its season 6-13.
The Bulldogs finished with eight hits on Wednesday night, and six of them came in their massive first two innings. In the third through fifth innings, Brookfield had just one baserunner, but by that point, enough damage had been done.
Senior Faith Smith led the Bulldogs with three hits in the game. Rylee Sensenich had a game-high three runs batted in, and Zoey Chrisman and Ella Daugherity both posted a pair.
"We knew we needed to get our bats going in the first couple of innings, because that's been a problem for us all year," senior second baseman Cassi Conard said. "We did that a lot better this evening. We strung our hits together, and we need to keep working as a team and keep going."
Brookfield faces top-seeded Putnam County in the district semifinal on Thursday evening at 5 p.m. The Midgets enter the game 18-3, and the Bulldogs lost to them in Brookfield on Oct. 7, 7-3.