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The Yankee Express

Brothers Beginning to Make Her Mark on Millbury Softball

By Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer 

Growing up Brielle Brothers found herself participating in numerous sports in hopes that she would find something that interested her. Now as she concludes her sophomore year at Millbury High School, she finds herself a three-sport (volleyball, basketball, and softball) athlete for the Woolies. Although she is keeping busy during each athletic season, softball has become her favorite sport.

“In second grade my parents had me trying all kinds of sports, but I found out early on that softball was my favorite,” Brothers said. “Not only was the game fun, but I had a real love for the game, especially when I started pitching.”

Two years into playing softball, she happened to be at a softball clinic. While her parents thought that it would be a good chance for her to try pitching, little did they know it would be her golden ticket to the game. Brothers soon found out that she had a knack when she stepped into the pitching circle.

“When I first started playing softball I was basically doing it to have fun; never did I expect to have this type of success,” she said. “It definitely feels good to be recognized for what I am doing and it has boosted my confidence, but I still like to stay humble.”

Prior to entering middle school, Brothers had begun playing for the Central Mass Thunder, hoping that by the time she did get to middle school she’d be ready to try out for the high school teams. Since the school is both a Junior and Senior High School, athletes in the seventh and eighth grade can play on the high school teams. 

Hoping to make the JV team and spend her middle school years on the squad was all that Brothers was aiming for.

“It was a pretty nervous situation at the tryouts as I thought that the other girls were a lot better than I was. All I wanted was to make the JV team,” Brothers said. “I did make the JV team,  but about half-way through the season the varsity team had an injury to their first baseman and I was called up to fill the spot as I could play the position.”

While being on the varsity team was an ultimate dream, it was once again a very nerve-racking situation for the seventh grader, especially one that was relatively shy. Being that quiet individual the young athlete figured that it was going to be very hard for her to bond with the older girls, but much to her surprise the older girls took her under their collective wing and welcomed her on the team.

Her hitting originally struggled. She found herself very nervous each time that she stepped into the batter’s box to face the opposing pitcher, but as the season went on she started to get her hits and she felt the nerves fading away.

During her first full season with the varsity team, as an eighth grader, she started to get some pitching starts against the lower-level teams. Although she can’t recall her stats from her first pitching performance, she did know that it was a shutout against Southbridge. 

“I always go into a game trusting my defense,” she said. “I don’t go into every game trying to strike everyone out, but I don’t want them crushing the ball on me either.”

As a freshman, last spring, Brothers started every game for the Woolies where she pitched 133 innings allowing 61 earned runs and striking out 103 batters. With the success Brothers decided to put in a lot of off-season work to improve her pitching skills. 

According to the new Millbury softball coach, Kim Cadrin, Brothers continued to work with her pitching coach Aimee Lee where she not only improved her velocity but developed a curve ball.

“Brielle has been working with Aimee for four years now and this year she learned the curve ball and it is nasty,” the first-year varsity coach said. “It has become her best pitch and she throws it about 85% of the time.”

Brothers has seen a big difference in her pitching this season and attributes it all to her pitching coach.

“Learning the curve came quickly giving me another pitch tothrow with my fastball,” she said. “I’ll throw the curve the most but I like to mix in a high fastball or something inside to keep hitters on their toes.”

Thus far, Brothers’ stats in the circle have surpassed last year. The sophomore, at the time of this writing, had pitched 123 innings allowing only 26 earned runs while striking out 146.

Cardin, who was previously the junior varsity head coach and assistant varsity coach, noted that Brothers is a great all-around player. The new skipper continued to say that her young pitching phenom is a very versatile athlete that could play just about every other position if the team needed her to.

Despite being part of a young team, Millbury was able to finish 7-3 in the SWCL while finishing the regular season at 13-7 earning am 18 seed in the Division 4 State Tournament. Millbury squared off against Lynnfield in the first round and was able to squeak out a 6-5 win. Following their win the Woolies had to travel to number two seed Tyngsborough, where the home team was relentless and beat Millbury 10-1 to end their season.

With still another two years of softball to be played for Millbury the young pitcher would like to continue to improve her game in all aspects while staying consistent in the batting box, where she hit .397 this year. Before she leaves Millbury, she would love nothing better than to lead her Woolie teammates far into the State Tournament. She would also like to be scouted to play in college where ever that may be.