Mendon’s softball team seems to have a lot of horses this season.
And at least two of those horses, Jackie Friel and Alexis Russell, can really run.
Both hit inside-the-park home runs in the second game and Mendon pounded out 14 hits in each game to blank White Pigeon, 9-0 and 17-0, in St. Joseph Valley play on Thursday on the road.
‘’We’ve all been really antsy to get started, so to get to today was great,’’ Russell said. ‘’It was also really nice that the weather stayed nice.’’
After managing a double in the first game, Friel came alive with a home run and two singles in the second game.
‘’At the time, I was just focused on trying to make it to the plate,’’ Friel said about her round-tripper. ‘’Afterword, though, when I was catching my breath, I felt excited and also relieved that I got over my first-game jitters.’’
Added Russell: ‘’Home runs are probably the most fun part of softball, whether you hit one or a team hits one. It definitely brings up the team. We’re looking forward to a lot more from the whole team throughout the season.’’
Casey Clementz and Randee Smith combined for the first-game shutout. Smith and Cassie Plummer were the pitchers in the second game.
‘’I think our team will be quite a bit different from last year,’’ Russell said. ‘’We have many of the same girls, but now our team only has 11 players and we went from one to three pitchers.
‘’Everyone will be getting a lot of playing time this year.’’
In the first game, Plummer and Smith each had three hits with Smith getting a single, double and triple. Mendon didn’t have one big inning, rather scoring runs in five of the seven innings.
For White Pigeon, it was Skyler Demeyer with two singles and Haley Miller and Monica Andaverde with a single each.
The second game is when the big innings came as the Hornets had three in the second, four in the third and five in both the fourth and fifth innings. Friel and Danielle Parsons each had three hits and Clementz added two hits.