An unexpected run to the Division 4 state quarterfinals had a lot to do with Mendon curbing the errors that plagued it in the regular season. Against a high-caliber Kalamazoo Christian squad Tuesday at Bailey Park in Battle Creek, those errors crept back in for the young Hornets.
The Comets registered only five hits but that total was good enough for a 4-0 victory. Mendon’s Hannah Duchene allowed only two earned runs while striking out six and walking two.
Jayme Koning earned the win after scattering five hits and collecting five strikeouts. She walked two batters.
Kalamazoo Christian plated a run in each of the first two innings and then tacked on two more in the fifth. With one out in the first, Monica Locker took off on a dropped third strike and the throw to first was high for her to reach safely. With two outs, a wild pitch allowed Locker to take second before teammate Jayme Koning connected on an RBI double.
In the second inning, Ashley Veldkamp walked to start things off. With two outs, she stole second and would later score on a fielding error.
In the fifth, Maggie Niewoonder led off with a single and a throwing error to first resulted in the ball leaving the field. Niewoonder advanced to third base as a result. A wild pitch on the next play scored Niewoonder to make it a 3-0 game. Duong hit a line drive to the left field fence for a standup double, and Locker executed the sacrifice bunt to move Niewoonder to third. Stephanie Richardson’s bloop single scored the Comets’ final run.
Mendon (18-17) had an opportunity in the top of the seventh as Duchene led off with a single to right field. Amaijha Bailey came through with a shot to left field that was misplayed. Duchene reached third and Bailey took second.
Kennedy Hawkins flew out to centerfield and completed the double play when Mendon was caught not tagging up. The Horents grounded out to end the game.
Duchene finished with three hits (one double) for Mendon, while Cassie Plummer and Bailey had one apiece.
With the win, Kalamazoo Christian advanced to Saturday’s semifinals against Indian River Inland Lakes at Michigan State University.
Photos by Nicci Plummer