"What do I get excited about? Oh geez," Brookfield head coach Paige Corf said.
For the first time since its head coach's senior season, the Brookfield Bulldogs' softball team found a way to open the Clarence Cannon season 2-0.
Quite simply, the Macon Tigers have always been the Achilles of Brookfield achieving that record.
Since 2012, the Bulldogs have opened conference play with South Shelby, tossed in a weekend tournaments, and lost to Macon the Tuesday following.
That exact recipe had happened six consecutive seasons.
Brookfield stopped it from being a seventh Tuesday night, defeating Macon 8-2, by playing more fundamentally sound softball than it has done in the Corf era. The Brookfield gem took over as head coach in 2017.
Senior shortstop Rylee Sensenich said that the team is in a different headspace than it was in prior years.
"Last year, we had a lot of negativity for no reason, and this year, we've worked on being friends off of the field," Sensenich said. "That's gone a long way for us. In the past, we practiced and worked hard, and that was the biggest goal for us. We're at a point where we make it our goal to win a lot of conference games.
"We're not going to settle, and we're going to keep winning games. We always said those things, but now we believe it."
Brookfield allowed seven hits while recording 12. Pitcher Faith Smith left the game in the sixth inning, and her replacement, Charlee Reese, overpowered the Tigers for the rest of the evening.
Corf has a lot of luxuries, but her ultimate is having a velocity/spot pitcher in sophomore Reese to replace an off-speed specialist in senior Smith.
"They complement each other well," Corf said. "(Smith) works down low, and (Reese) works up high, and those two have been phenomenal at gettting ahead in the count. That's something that we can't really coach, and all that credit goes to (sophomore catcher Kayedence) Almond. This Macon team couldn't get a hit off of Faith.
"Our seniors this year want big things from both themselves and the underclassmen, and they've set goals that I and (assistant coach Lory Passley) don't know about. That makes a massive difference. In the past couple of years, we've just had girls who are here because they feel like they're supposed to be here."
Brookfield travels to Kirksville on Friday to face Highland on Truman State's field as it did last season.