Brown homer slams door on Bearettes

By RICHARD ROBERTS
Posted 3/22/19

Lady Raiders' first baseman Sierra Brown was all smiles as she watched her second home run of the day make its way to Raider Drive. Brown put a sudden and swift end to Cleveland's win over Bradley …

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Brown homer slams door on Bearettes

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Lady Raiders' first baseman Sierra Brown was all smiles as she watched her second home run of the day make its way to Raider Drive. Brown put a sudden and swift end to Cleveland's win over Bradley Central with a fifth-inning walk-off grand slam that closed out a 12-2, run-rule victory over the Bearettes.

The blast — the first walk-off grand slam in Lady Raiders history — capped  a perfect day at offensively for Brown, who went 4 for 4 at the plate, including  a homer in the fourth that bounced off the scoreboard in right-center field.

"They were fired up. What I'm most proud of is it was all 18 of them. Even in the dugout they were loud and they did the job on the field. It's a good win," said a very happy Lady Raiders coach KJ Harris.

"Our bats have been hot the last couple of games. The girls have put in a ton of work. People don't realize they are getting up at 6 a.m., sometimes two, three days a week, Sierra especially coming in and getting swings in. They have put a ton of work into their swings," Harris said.

Cleveland catcher Lydia Martin gave the Lady Raiders an 8-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a shot over the left-field fence.

Bradley's Riley Sermons had gone yard for the Bearettes in the top of the fifth.

"They are a good hitting team. We knew that coming in. We didn't swing the bat well at all," said Bearettes coach Adam McClary. "I thought defensively the balls that were playable, we looked OK. Offensively, that's the worst we've looked. You have to give credit to Anna Stewart. She pitched a great game and we just didn't make the adjustments.

"We'll continue working and get back at it."

Stewart gave up six hits on the day going the distance for the Lady Raiders (3-5, 1-1 District 5-AAA). Bailey Rogers took the loss for the Bearettes (1-5, 0-1) giving up seven hits in three innings of work.

Our pitching is really coming along. Anna was solid for us on the mound today. It's a bright future and everybody is working hard," Harris said.

The Lady Raiders took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on four straight hits with two outs. Brown reached first on a hit to right center-field raced to second on a wild pitch. She scored when Kailee Wilson singled to left. Emme Bayne got the third hit of the inning before Wilson made it a 2-0 game on a Lauren Anderson RBI single.

The Lady Raiders kept the pressure on in the second with singles by Brown and Bayne. Lauren Anderson's two-run double to right center made it 6-0.

The Bearettes cut the lead to 6-1 with three hits in the top of the third. Alexis Parham and Sermons came through with back-to-back singles to open the inning. Carly Chastain loaded the bases with the third hit of the inning. Parham raced home to make it a 6-1 game when a throw to third sailed wide of the bag.

The Lady Raiders got the run back in the lower half of the inning when Brown ripped homer No. 1 over the right-center field fence.

The Bearettes came back in the top of the fifth with Sermon's dinger that cleared the fence in center field.

Martin extended the Cleveland lead back to six runs when she lifted a lead-off homer over the left-field fence. Rinna Senn kept the momentum with the Lady Raiders beating out a bunt single. Kayla Davenport walked and Emma Miles set the stage for the finale, beating out the second bunt single of the inning. The Bearettes got a fly ball to right for the first out of the inning, but Brown ended the game with a no-doubt-about-it rocket that easily cleared the fence in right for the walk-off grand slam.

"Not since I've been here; it's never happened!" said a proud Harris of the game ender. "It was a good one, a big check off the list."

GAME SUMMARY
Bradley Central          001  01 — 2  5  2
Cleveland                   240  15 — 12 13 0
WP: Anna Stewart. LP: Bailey Rogers. HR: Riley Sermons (BC); Sierra Brown 2, Lydia Martin (C). 2B: Lauren Anderson (C). Highlights: Sermons 3-3 (BC); Brown 4-4, Anderson 2-4, Emme Bayne 2-2. Records: Bradley Central 1-5, 0-1 District 5-AAA; Cleveland 3-5, 1-1.

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