By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
An excellent defensive performance by the Brookings-Harbor High School softball team was overshadowed by a stellar pitching performance from Gold Beach's Molly Hockema as the Panthers edged out the Bruins 2-0 in the season opener Tuesday.
"We had a lot of good things happen for our first game," Coach Steve Padilla said. "Defensively, we played very well. We just couldn't get going on offense."
Senior Jessie Goergen had a good night on the mound, only allowing six hits while striking out eight batters and only walking one.
Fellow senior Brooke Blofsky did a great job behind the plate as she didn't let anything get by her.
"Jessie and Brooke did an outstanding job for us tonight," Padilla said. "I really feel good about this upcoming season. We just have a few things we need to work on."
Behind Goergen, the Bruin defense made a number of quality grabs, led by junior Ashlee Murray, who made several nice snags at second base.
The Panthers scored their first run in the top of the fourth inning and then added a second in the fifth with a solo home run.
On offense, the Bruins struggled to hit the ball against the powerful Hockema.
Hockema pitched the first five inning and struck out every Bruin batter she faced, for a game-high 15 strikeouts.
The Bruins' only baserunner of the game came in the sixth inning as pinch hitter freshman Vanessa Meirer hit a ball to right field that the outfielder had to sprint to reach and then bobbled the ball when she got there, allowing Meirer to reach first.
Meirer then advanced to second on a stolen base, but the Bruins could not bring her around to score.
The Bruins continue their preseason schedule at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 13 as they travel to Rogue River.
On Friday, March 14, the Bruins will head to Coos Bay to take on the Marshfield Pirates at 4 p.m.
For the JV squad, the Bruins will host Rogue River on March 13 and then travel to Marshfield on March 14. Both games begin at 4 p.m.