District 10 Tournament at Holt
Behind a powerful offense and dominant pitching, Gull Lake cruised to a district title with wins over Battle Creek Lakeview and Holt.
Gull Lake 14, Battle Creek Lakeview 3 (five innings)
Gull Lake broke things open quickly with a six-run first inning, en route to the 14-3 win over Battle Creek Lakeview.
The Blue Devils didn’t stop there, adding four runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth inning, piling it on early and often.
Lauren Esman started the game in the pitcher’s circle, and earned the win, allowing one run in three innings, with five strikeouts. Esman also helped out at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI. Ashlee Kramer also added 3 RBI. Shelby Martell and Katelyn Jerke each had 2 RBI for Gull Lake.
W- Lauren Esman: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Gull Lake 12, Holt 0 (five innings)
In the championship game, Lauren Esman put together one of her best efforts of the season, leading Gull Lake to a 12-0 win over Holt.
Esman threw a perfect five innings, allowing no hits and no walks, while adding 12 strikeouts.
Gull Lake got all the runs it needed early, with a single run in the first, and one more run in the second inning. The Blue Devils broke open a competitive ballgame late, with five runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth inning.
Elena Chrisman had a big day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple and 5 RBI. Gull Lake had three triples as a team, with Ashton Whitman and Esman each hitting one as well. Whitman and Esman also each finished with 2 RBI. Esman only had one official at bat, but drew three walks, and scored three runs.
Gull Lake will face off against Grand Ledge in Regional 3 action at Battle Creek Lakeview, on June 9.
W- Lauren Esman: 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K
District 9 Tournament at Kalamazoo Central
Portage Central 1, Portage Northern 0
Dominant pitching was the story when two crosstown rivals, Portage Central and Portage Northern, squared off in the district semifinal round.
Ultimately, one sacrifice fly made the difference, as the Mustangs edged the Huskies, 1-0.
In the third inning, Josie Muffley led off with a triple for Portage Central. Two batters later, Kaitlyn Brannstrom hit a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing in the only run of the game. That run was enough for starting pitcher Kylee Taylor, who was brilliant, throwing a complete game shutout, allowing only three singles and issuing one walk.
Deborah Torres went pitch-for-pitch with Taylor most of the game. Torres also went the distance, allowing one run on three hits, with one walk and five strikeouts.
Portage Northern was only able to muster three singles, two of which came from leadoff hitter Hannah Biddlecome. The Mustangs, on the other hand, got a double from Brannstrom and a single from Madeline Grueter, in addition to Muffley’s triple.
Portage Northern’s best scoring opportunity came in the fifth inning, when the Huskies had runners on first and second with one out. Lauren Chavis then lined out to shortstop and Torres flied out to center field, ending the threat.
In the sixth inning, the Huskies had a runner on second base with one out, but again, couldn’t advance the runner.
W- Kendall Taylor: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
L- Deborah Torres: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Mattawan 16, Loy Norrix 0
Loy Norrix was overwhelmed in semifinal action against Mattawan, falling to the Wildcats in four innings, 16-0.
The Knights managed only two hits, as Annie Mansfield and Lauren Johnson each had a single. Mattawan, on the other hand, racked up 12 hits in four innings, including six doubles.
Mattawan scored two runs in the first inning, and tacked on three more runs in the third. It was an explosive 11-run fourth inning that ended the game early.
W- Olivia Fee: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
L- Khyra Dilley: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
Mattawan 10, Portage Central 0 (five innings)
Portage Central couldn’t solve Mattawan starting pitcher Emily Koperdak, as the Mustangs fell in the District 9 title game, 10-0, in five innings.
Koperdak threw five innings, allowing only one hit, and finished with six strikeouts.
Kendall Taylor had the lone hit – a single – for Portage Central. Kylee Taylor got the start, and went 1 2/3 innings before being pulled in favor of MacKenzie Ruthven. Taylor allowed three runs on five hits. Ruthven allowed seven runs on nine hits.
Mattawan opened the game with two runs in the first inning, and one run in the second inning. The Wildcats broke things open with a six-run fourth inning.
Mattawan will move on to face Howell in regional action on June 9 at Battle Creek Lakeview.
W- Emily Koperdak: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
L- Kylee Taylor: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Photos by Chris Carpenter
District 48 at Sturgis
With only one run allowed in two games, Three Rivers pitched itself to a district championship by outscoring its opponents 22-1 on Saturday.
The Wildcats took the district crown with a 14-0 win over Sturgis in the semifinals, and an 8-1 win over Coldwater in the championship.
Three Rivers 14, Sturgis 0 (five innings)
Three Rivers opened the game with a splash, scoring five runs in the first inning. Starting pitcher Kylee Nash took it from there, as the Wildcats defeated Sturgis, 14-0, in five innings.
Nash threw five innings, and finished with nine strikeouts, while allowing only two hits and issuing one walk.
Jessica Barnes led the offensive attack for Three Rivers, finishing 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and two runs scored. Kali Heivilin had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, 2 RBI and three runs scored. Tessa Hawkins went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI.
Nash helped her own cause, hitting a pair of doubles and driving in one run.
W- Kylee Nash: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
L- C. Carpenter: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Three Rivers 8, Coldwater 1
Kylee Nash picked up right where she left off, leading Three Rivers to the 8-1 win over Coldwater in the finals, lifting the Wildcats to their first district title in 13 years.
After throwing five innings in the semifinal matchup, Nash went seven innings against Coldwater, allowing one run on five hits. Nash gave up a run in the first inning, and settled down from there, throwing six-straight scoreless innings to end the game. Nash finished with nine strikeouts, and threw 106 pitches.
Nash also had a big game offensively, as she was one of three Wildcats to hit a home run. Nash finished with 3 RBI, tied for a team-high with Amy Jo Tavernier, who also homered. Kali Heivilin hit a solo shot, giving her two home runs for the tournament. Halle Carpenter also had an RBI, hitting a double and scoring two runs for Three Rivers.
After trailing by a run in the first inning, Three Rivers evened the game in the second inning on the solo homer from Heivilin. A three-run homer from Nash in the third inning gave Three Rivers its first lead, and the Wildcats added four more runs in the fifth inning.
Three Rivers will begin regional action with a semifinal game against Stevensville Lakeshore on June 9.
W- Kylee Nash: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
District 79 Tournament at Comstock
Throughout an outstanding regular season, the mantra for the Schoolcraft softball team remained the same.
One pitch at a time. One goal at a time.
Having already crossed a conference championship off that list, the Eagles (28-3) obtained their second goal on Saturday: a district title. Schoolcraft won the Division 3 District 79 championship with wins over Parchment and Hackett Catholic.
Photos by Corey Rhodes
Schoolcraft 8, Parchment 4
In the first game of the semifinal round, Schoolcraft snuck away with the 8-4 win over Parchment, in an 11-inning slugfest.
In the 10th inning, it looked like Schoolcraft’s stellar season was coming to a surprising end. Following a pair of throwing errors, Parchment had runners on second and third with nobody out. Pitcher Mikayla Meade crafted her way out of the inning, after a suicide squeeze was unsuccessful, and a deep fly ball to center field didn’t bring in a run after the Parchment baserunner failed to tag. Meade then drew a groundball to end the inning.
“It was definitely nerve-racking,” Meade said. “You’ve gotta go one pitch at a time. You can’t give up. That’s what we did. We didn’t five up, and we just kept pushing. It was a big inning, and getting out of it and staying alive was a big thing.”
Head Coach Jim Goble said staying calm in adversity has been a strength of the team throughout the regular season.
“At that point, getting upset isn’t going to help, we just have to play our game,” Goble said. “This team has been pretty resilient. I know we kind of got a gift, but when you play well, you take advantage of those opportunities. A good team is going to take advantage of the mistakes of the other team.
“That was a huge mistake that turned the momentum.”
Schoolcraft took quick advantage, scoring four runs in the top of the 11th inning. With a runner placed on second base to start the inning, Lydia Goble led off the inning with a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third. From there, Schoolcraft rattled off four-consecutive hits, and a sacrifice fly, to build the huge lead.
Lydia Goble, who set a new MHSAA record for home runs in a season, hadn’t thought twice about laying down the bunt.
“It’s whatever the team needs,” she said. “It’s not about me or my stats. I like hitting home runs, so does everybody, but if they need me to put the bunt down, I’ll put the bunt down. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Goble had two throwing errors in the previous inning that set Parchment up for the possible winning score. Shortly thereafter, she was given the chance to start the rally that would help Schoolcraft win the game.
“I was pretty upset, because the runners were on second and third because of my errors,” she said. “So I really wanted to get through that, because I didn’t want to let my team down like that.
“It was just a relief, honestly. The game could have gone either way. We just happened to pull our bats out before they did.”
Starting pitcher Adrienne Rosey went 5 1/3 innings for the Eagles, allowing four runs on four hits, while striking out eight batters. She was pulled for Meade – who pitched the final 5 2/3 innings – and finished the game in left field.
“They were a good-hitting team,” Rosey said of Parchment. “The first couple of innings they may not have been used to some of the rise ball, but the fourth and fifth innings they started connecting. I was definitely fine with Mikayla coming in. We needed that switch, and she did an excellent job pitching.”
Parchment (25-8) struggled out of the gate, falling behind 3-0 in the first three innings. Beginning in the fourth inning, the Panthers rattled off four runs in a span of three innings, tying the game and forcing extra innings.
“We battled all year, and we’ve gone into extra innings with good teams,” said Parchment head coach Greg Butler. “It just took us a little while to get going.”
Makayla Bootland had a double and 2 RBI for Parchment. Cassie Miller had an RBI, and also pitched all 11 innings for the Panthers.
“She’s a beast,” Butler said of Miller. “She’s worked really hard for me. Her stamina has always been through the roof. She’s in great shape. She was ready, and I knew she would be.”
Afterwards, the pain of letting one slip through their fingers was evident as the Parchment players gathered after the game.
“You know, the only thing I can say is – a mental error,” Butler said. “We make mistakes, everybody does. We’re only human. Unfortunately, that mistake hurt tremendously. We fought hard. (Schoolcraft) is a good team, they can hit the ball well. My hat’s off to them.”
W- Mikayla Meade: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
L- Cassie Miller: 11.0 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Hackett Catholic 8, Galesburg-Augusta 2
No statistical information was reported.
Photos by Corey Rhodes
Schoolcraft 13, Hackett Catholic 0 (five innings)
In the district final, the Schoolcraft offense seemingly picked up right where it left off, following the dramatic win over Parchment.
The Eagles were held scoreless in the first two innings, but used a nine-run third inning to catapult them to the dominant 13-0 win, in five innings.
Katie Parker led the way with a 3-for-4 performance, including a double, and had 2 RBI to go along with three runs scored. Kelby Goldschmeding and Mikayla Meade each had 2 RBI as well.
“We’ve been able to get clutch hitting from the top of the order to the bottom all year,” said Jim Goble. “That game just kind of highlighted how well we’ve been doing that throughout the year.”
Meade started game two, after pitching nearly a full game in the semifinal round. She didn’t show any fatigue, striking out five batters and allowing only two hits over five innings of work.
“It was definitely interesting pitching that many innings in the first game, but I felt good,” Meade said.
“I had confidence in my defense that we could get it done. As a pitcher, you can’t do everything, you definitely have to rely on your defense. That’s something I can definitely do on this team; our defense is really strong.”
After the nine-run outburst in the third inning, Schoolcraft added a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Four players had multi-hit games, as Danielle Blyly, Brooke Crissman and Kennedy Leighton all had a pair of hits, to go along with three from Parker.
The offensive production was more in line with what has been seen out of the Eagles this season.
“We’ve been playing good ball lately,” said Lydia Goble. “I think a lot of people might have thought we’d have it easy today. Parchment was definitely a wake up call to know that anybody can come and challenge us, and we just have to play our game at all times.”
The next opportunity will come against Constantine in the regional semifinal on June 9, in Buchanan. The Eagles will try to buck a trend of losing in the regional round, where Schoolcraft has ended the last two seasons.
“I think we need to be more prepared,” said Meade. “We need to work hard and really want it.”
District 78 Tournament at Buchanan
A pair of shutout performances by pitcher Mercedes Cole highlighted a banner day for Constantine, which breezed through district round play in Buchanan.
The Falcons (28-7) prevailed 14-0 over Lawton in the semifinal matchup, and took down the host Buchanan Bucks 10-0 in the final.
Constantine 14, Lawton 0 (five innings)
Mercedes Cole left little in doubt during the semifinal with Lawton, as she threw five innings of perfection, allowing no hits, issuing no walks, and finishing with 10 strikeouts.
Cole needed only 52 pitches to complete her five innings of work, and was consistently ahead in the count, as 14 of the 16 batters she faced saw a first-pitch strike.
Constantine scored all of its runs in the first three innings, capped off by a six-run third inning. Trasandra Ragsdale and Kim Maddox both went yard for the Falcons, and Brianna Herrick added a double. Maddox and Ragsdale each finished with 4 RBI, and each finished 3-for-3 at the dish. Kiki Price added 2 RBI, while Herrick, Madi Tulley and Cole all added 1 RBI.
Eight different players had hits for Constantine, and seven of them had multiple hits. The Falcons tallied 17 hits and only left three runners stranded.
W- Mercedes Cole: 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K
Constantine 10, Buchanan 0 (five innings)
Mercedes Cole flirted with perfection again, leading Constantine to the 10-0 win over Buchanan in the finals.
Cole again threw five shutout innings for the Falcons, this time finishing with one hit allowed, one walk issued, and 10 strikeouts.
Constantine combined for 12 hits, half of which went for extra bases. Trasandra Ragsdale again homered for Constantine, finishing with 2 RBI. Piper Ousley also went deep, also finishing with 2 RBI. Kiki Price hit two doubles, while Kim Maddox and Cole each hit one double.
The two teams were locked up in a low-scoring affair, as Constantine held a 1-0 lead after two innings. The Falcons broke things open with six runs in the third inning.
Constantine moves on to the regional round, where the Falcons will face Schoolcraft on June 9 in Buchanan.
W- Mercedes Cole: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
District 115 Tournament at Kalamazoo Christian
Host Kalamazoo Christian took the District 115 title with wins over Martin and Decatur, after beating Gobles earlier in the week.
Kalamazoo Christian 15, Martin 0 (four innings)
Starting pitcher Jayme Koning was lights out in the pitcher’s circle, and Jill Rozeveld led a dominant offensive attack, as Kalamazoo Christian cruised to a 15-0 semifinal win over Martin.
Koning went four innings, had eight strikeouts, and allowed only one run while pitching the shutout. Rozeveld went 3-for-3 at the dish, with a game-high 4 RBI.
The Comets opened up with two runs in the first inning, and were only getting started. Four runs in the second inning were followed up by a six-run third inning, and the rout was on.
Megan Snook hit a pair of doubles, and finished with 2 RBI. Clare Dirksen also had 1 RBI for the Comets. Sydney Duong hit a triple and scored two runs from her leadoff spot. Eight players had at least one hit for Kalamazoo Christian, with four players tallying multiple hits.
W – Jayme Koning: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Kalamazoo Christian 7, Decatur 6
A low-scoring affair turned into an offensive shootout, as Kalamazoo Christian rallied late to slip past Decatur, 7-6.
The Comets trailed 1-0 after four innings, and finally got on the board with one run in the top half of the fifth inning, tying the game. Decatur responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning, to regain the lead. Kalamazoo Christian scored three runs in the sixth inning, and three more in the seventh inning, taking a 7-5 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Decatur rally fell short, and the Comets secured the district title.
As a team, Kalamazoo Christian totaled 11 hits. Of those, a whopping eight went for extra bases, led by a solo home run from Sydney Duong in the seventh inning. Jayme Koning and Stephanie Richardson each had a pair of doubles, while Sammy Gano, Jill Rozeveld and Megan Snook each doubled as well.
Starting pitcher Zoe Hazelhoff went 4 1/3 innings for the Comets, allowing four runs on nine hits. Koning came on in relief, pitching the final 2 2/3 innings while allowing two runs on four hits.
The Comets will face Marcellus in the Regional 29 semifinals on June 9, in Decatur.
W- Jayme Koning: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
District 114 Tournament at Eau Claire
White Pigeon 16, Eau Claire 2
No statistical information was reported.
Marcellus 12, White Pigeon 2 (five innings)
No statistical information was reported.