The bats were hot Friday for Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo Christian as both teams punched their tickets to Michigan State for softball state semifinal games on Friday. The Eagles bested Calvin Christian 14-6 and Kalamazoo Christian rolled Hudson 11-1 with both teams using big innings to take control.
(Division 3 at Hope College)
Schoolcraft 14, Calvin Christian 6
A leadoff double from Calvin’s Vanessa Krombeen led to the opening run thanks to a later error in the first inning. The Eagles matched with Danielle Blyly’s leadoff walk and ensuing Squire fielding woes. Calvin struck next with one in the top of the third inning, but Schoolcraft exploded in the second trip through their lineup with a six-run third.
“Second time through the lineup is when we get our timing down,” said Schoolcraft coach Shane Barry. “That’s when you get to see what these kids can really do.”
Schoolcraft’s first hit of the game and inning came on a two-out Katie Parker RBI single, scoring Blyly who previously reached on an error. The next five at-bats saw a walk, single, double, single, and triple. Jordan Watts brought in both Parker and Kayla Onken with a two RBI double. Mikayla Meade singled home Kelby Goldschmeding, then Sophie Ridge tripled to score Watts and Meade’s courtesy runner Paige Reid, getting the Eagles to a 7-2 lead.
The fourth inning followed a similar script with another six runs scored. Adrienne Rosey was the first one to reach with a one-out single, then Parker crushed a home run to left that nearly smacked the scoreboard on the fly.
“(Parker) is not a first-pitch strike swinger, but when you swing like she does, she should be,” noted Barry. “She adapted to that today and hit that ball first-pitch strike, just under the scoreboard. She hit that ball well.”
From there, Onken was hit by a pitch and Kelby Goldschmeding singled. Then with two outs, Schoolcraft saw a two RBI double by Meade, a RBI single by Ridge, and a RBI single for Allie Goldschmeding to put the score at 13-2 after the fourth inning. After that, Calvin starter Brooke Hunderman was pulled in favor of Hannah Diemer, who gave up just one more run in her two innings of relief.
Calvin avoided the run-rule with a four-run fifth inning, taking advantage of a couple hits and Eagle errors. Rosey took over in relief and pitched the final three innings with only one run against her from the fifth. Meade allowed five runs over four innings, although just two were earned. Blyly added an additional RBI on a sixth-inning fielder’s choice, scoring Meade.
“Luckily, our offense did well enough so that we could have a few errors and still be okay,” said Barry. “That will be something we fix come (Wednesday) and Thursday so that we’ll be ready to go for Friday.”
Parker finished with three hits, three RBI, and two runs. Meade tallied three RBI on two hits with a run and two by courtesy runner Reid. Ridge also racked up three RBI on her two hits and scored. Onken and Kelby Goldschmeding also scored twice.
Calvin’s Lauren Buckley had three RBI on two hits and a run. Brooklyn VerBeek scored twice and Krombeen had two doubles. The future remains bright for the Squires as they’ll only graduate left fielder Maddy Walcott from a squad that finished at 29-8.
Schoolcraft improves to 31-4 and continues their deepest-ever softball run against second-ranked Dundee at 3 p.m. Friday from Michigan State University. You can listen to Friday’s game live via JoeInsider.com.
W- Mikayla Meade 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
L- Brooke Hunderman 4 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
S- Adrienne Rosey 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
(Division 4 at Bailey Park, Battle Creek)
Kalamazoo Christian 11, Hudson 1 (5 innings)
It was Hudson that had the opening blow in the top of the third inning with a single, sacrifice bunt, then RBI single. In the bottom half, Sammy Gano stroked a two-out double, then Sydney Duong went yard to center field for a 2-1 Comet lead.
Things escalated in the fourth inning as K-Christian brought home eight using seven hits, one error, and a hit batsmen. Zoe Hazelhoff scored first on an error, then Clare Dirksen singled in Reagan Broekhuizen. Gano plated Faith Kline on a RBI single, followed by a RBI single for Duong to score Dirksen.
Megan Snook smacked a two-RBI double that brought in both Gano and Duong, with Jayme Koning sending home Snook on her own RBI double. Hazelhoff then came back up and had a RBI single to score courtesy runner Nyla de Jong.
In the fifth, de Jong singled to start the inning, then scored on an error to reach the run-rule threshold. Hazelhoff’s pitching kept Hudson at bay, giving up just three hits over five innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Duong topped the offense with two hits, three RBI, and two runs. Gano and de Jong each scored twice.
Second-ranked Kalamazoo Christian improves to 32-7, advancing to their fifth semifinal berth in seven years. To get to the championship for the 12th time in school history, they must defeat 2018 runner-up and top-ranked Coleman. You can listen to that semifinal live via JoeInsider.com with first pitch set for 10 a.m. ET Friday at Michigan State.