Jessica Barnes’ fifth-inning, three-run home run lifted Three Rivers to a 5-4 varsity softball win over Portage Northern in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The Huskies got their bats going in Game 2 for a 10-5 victory.
Kylee Nash went the distance in the circle for the Wildcats in the opener, allowing five hits and three earned runs. She struck out six and walked three. Nash was also 3-for-3 at the plate with one double and one RBI. Barnes was 3-for-3 and also had a double to go with her dinger for a three-RBI game.
Amy Jo Tavernier had two hits and a run batted in, and Karalyn Eldridge singled.
Portage Northern led 3-1 after three innings but the Wildcats plated a run in the fourth and then the three in the fifth that put them in the lead.
Deborah Torres took the loss after six innings of nine-hit ball. She struck out six and walked none. Hannah Biddlecome, Jessie Beadle, Taylor Lyke, Lauren Chavis and Torres each had a hit. Beadle and Lyke drove in runs for the Huskies.
“The girls really came together tonight and played with heart,” Three Rivers coach Kendra Kutz said. “Kylee did a great job on the mound and maintained great composure start to finish. Jessica really stepped up at the plate tonight and made things happen. Her HR late in the 5th inning is what sealed the win for us. Jessica is a great all-around player and there’s no doubt that when she’s at the plate good things will happen.”
In Game 2, Three Rivers held a 4-1 advantage heading into the third inning after Brady hit a grand slam in the bottom of the second. Portage Northern plated four runs for a brief 5-4 lead before the Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the third. The Huskies would score two runs in the fifth and three in the seventh for the win.
Lizzy Verduzco earned the win for the Huskies with five earned runs on nine hits allowed. She ended the game with three strikeouts and three walks.
Lyke was 4-for-4 at the dish with a double, Biddlecome had three hits with a triple, Chavis had two base hits, and Beadle, Coon, Bowe (double) and Bailey Neal had one hit apiece. Chavis led the squad with three RBI.
Tavernier took the loss after 5 2/3 innings. She scattered 10 hits and struck out one with two walks. Nash threw 1 1/3 innings with four hits allowed and five earned runs. She struck out two and walked one.
Nash (home run), Barnes (one double) and Heivilin each produced two hits, while Brady had a homer.
“Erin really made a statement tonight in game two. Erin had been struggling at the plate the last couple at bats until she came up and smoked a grand slam. When girls step up in moments like this, it gets the team going and they tend to feed off of each other making good things happen. We made a few mental errors in the field that costed us game two. It was an overall good night for the Lady Cats.”