Brookfield's softball season came to a close on Thursday night when the fourth-seeded Bulldogs fell to top-seeded Putnam County, 10-0, in the Class 2 District 16 semifinal in Trenton on Thursday.
The game lasted five innings.
"This year, I think we got better all season long," senior shortstop Rylee Sensenich said after her final game as a Bulldog. "We were ready to play tonight, but Putnam County came out hard. Both teams wanted it, but they showed it more early on."
All but one of the Bulldogs' first nine batters fell victim to strikeout against Putnam County pitcher Samantha Bradshaw.
Eight of the Midgets' 10 runs came in a massive first inning. From then on, once Faith Smith came into the circle in relief of Charlee Reese, Brookfield did a fine job of not rolling over, allowing no runs in either the second or third inning. Two runs in the fourth inning proved to be all the Midgets needed, as the Bulldogs could not post anything in the top of the fifth.
"After that first inning, we came out defensively a lot more aggressively and got outs when we needed to," Brookfield coach Paige Corf said. "That first inning just killed us, and as far as our pitching, we got down on ourselves and let ourselves get into our heads. By the time we settled in tonight, it was too late. Our seniors kind of changed our team's culture, and we want to keep building off of that.
"This is the best team I've coached in my four years, and we had girls learn how to lead."
Zoey Chrisman reached by error in the fourth inning, and aside from that, Bradshaw did not allow a Brookfield baserunner.
Putnam County finished with 10 hits, and six of those came in the first inning.
The Midgets defeated Brookfield earlier this month, 7-3, at Rusk Park, but any hope that the Bulldogs could pull a dramatic upset in district play was quickly dashed.
Putnam County advances to face Marceline on Saturday in a district title rematch.
"They made a pitching change and did a nice job of keeping our hitters off balance," Putnam County head coach Aaron Fitzpatrick said. "They played good defense behind her, and that change kept them within the game."
Brookfield finishes its season 9-14, and Putnam improves to 19-3.