To say that St. Hubert pitcher Heather Brabazon was up for yesterday's Catholic League softball championship game against Archbishop Wood would be correct - way up with her pitches.
The senior righthander walked the game's first batter at Arcadia University. She got the second Vikings batter on a sacrifice, but walked the next batter. Both walks came on high pitches. Bethany Cocola then singled to put Brabazon in a one-out, bases-loaded situation.
At that point, Brabazon settled down and went on to pitch a three-hitter as the Bambies (16-1) blanked Wood, 3-0, for the first Catholic League championship in the school's history.
It was the third win of the season over the Vikings for St. Hubert, which finished unbeaten at 12-0 in the Northern Division and won the division crown. The Bambies' only loss of the season was to Sussex Central, Delaware's top-rated team, in the first game of a doubleheader. The second game was rained out.
Wood finished 15-6.
"I didn't do anything special. I just told myself to start pitching like I know I can," Brabazon said when asked how she got herself back on track against the Vikings.
To get an idea of how well she settled down, after Cocola's single, Brabazon proceeded to strike out the next six batters. She finished with eight strikeouts and allowed only one Vikings runner to get as far as third base.
Dave Schafer, who took over the St. Hubert program three years ago, said he wasn't worried when the St. Joseph's-bound Brabazon was a little wild at the outset.
"Heather actually pitches better with the bases loaded," said Schafer, who won 11 Catholic League crowns at Bishop Conwell before it became part of Conwell-Egan. "She was pumped. The adrenaline gets flowing, but she calmed down."
Schafer, who took the Bambies to the league finals last year where they lost to Conwell-Egan, 4-0, said he has the ideal situation now. He teaches psychology and history at St. Hubert.
"It's always good to have the players in the same building with you," said Schafer, who changed the Bambies' style of play to be a little more aggressive offensively and defensively.
That showed when St. Hubert scored its first two runs in the third inning. An infield single by senior Carly Sippel, a slap hit by Brabazon between third and short, and a pair of sacrifice flies resulted in the runs. On the first sacrifice fly, by sophomore Melissa Robinson, Sippel slid under the tag by Wood catcher Bethany Cocola.
The Bambies took advantage of a couple of errors and a single for their final run in the fourth inning.
Archbishop Wood 000 000 0 - 0 3 3
St. Hubert 002 100 x - 3 7 0
WP: Heather Brabazon. LP: Lisa Seidler. 2B: AW-Bethany Cocola. SH-Gina Sciarrone