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Streich dominant as Myrtle advances past Smithville

MYRTLE – Myrtle’s Brooklyn Streich was in the zone from start to finish Monday evening.

Streich allowed only one run and went the distance in the circle in a 5-1 win for Myrtle in Game 3 to advance the Hawks past Smithville. Myrtle will face Pine Grove in the Class 1A North half finals.

Streich had a difficult day in Myrtle’s 16-8 loss to Smithville in Game 2, but she bounced back in a big way on Monday.

“I think tonight she came back and, man, did she pitch well,” Myrtle head coach Brooke Gordon said. “She hit her spots, and she had the pitches. They went where we wanted them to go, and they produced outs. Our defense stood up behind her and made some great plays.”

Myrtle (22-5) jumped on Smithville (22-9) early. The Hawks drew back-to-back walks to lead off the bottom of the first inning, and a Streich sacrifice fly scored a run. Aubrey Henderson singled in another for what would eventually stand as the game-winning run.

Streich was efficient and kept Smithville’s hitters off balance. She finished the night with seven strikeouts and only gave up four hits. Smithville didn’t score until it was already trailing 4-0 in the sixth.

“I was very nervous today, but I had a good feeling that, as long as we came out and played how we know how to play, we’ll be OK,” Streich said. “We always tell each other to never let off the gas because once we do, we fall apart. But we never let off the gas, and we did OK.”

Myrtle immediately restored its four-run lead in the bottom of the sixth. Henderson clubbed a leadoff triple down the right-field line and scored on a groundout. Smithville managed a triple of its own in the top of the seventh, but Streich retired the next two batters to end the game.

“I’d go to battle with (this team) against anybody,” Smithville head coach John Harris said. “I’m proud of each and every one of them. These seniors have set the tone for the future. I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for this program.”

Extra Bases

Big Inning: Myrtle led from start to finish, scoring a pair of runs in the first inning.

Big Stat: Henderson went 2 for 2 at the plate with an RBI and a walk and was the only Myrtle batter with multiple hits.

Coach Speak: “We went up (to the plate) and wanted to be aggressive, put the bat on the ball. We knew we had to score runs, and they held up to their end of the deal. I couldn’t be any prouder of them, and we’re just ready for the next round.” – Gordon