Not only did the Three Rivers varsity softball team beat Vicksburg for the first time in five seasons, the Wildcats did it twice Friday in shutout style. On the road, Three Rivers posted 6-0 and 9-0 victories to move to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in Wolverine Conference play.
Kylee Nash went the distance to open the night, allowing four hits and striking out nine for the win. A leadoff walk by Karalyn Eldridge and a double by Halle Carpenter resulted in a 1-0 lead in the first inning. As the Wildcats put together what eventually would be a 15-hit performance, they tacked on two runs in the fourth and three in the seventh.
Eldridge and Amy Jo Tavernier both homered in the game, Nash and Kali Heivilin (one double) both finished with three hits, and Carpenter, Erin Brady and Tavernier (one double) finished with two apiece.
“Vicksburg has always been a very respectful team. They have always had a solid 1-9 lineup and really brought it to you,” Three Rivers coach Kendra Kutz said. “We went into today’s game ready to make a statement. This is a very special group of girls that play very well together. Our defense was solid and our offense came alive at the right times.”
Vicksburg’s Rylie Richter took the loss. She struck out nine and was responsible for six earned runs. Tailynn Knapp, Keagan Kelley, Richter and Lauren Goertler each singled.
In Game 2, Nash was still in fine form, scattering six hits and striking out seven over seven innings. She led the team offensively with a home run and two singles for a total of 5 RBI. Tessa Hawkins registered two hits, Eldridge (double), Emma Thatcher, Jessica Barnes, Heivilin, Brady and Tavernier singled. Eldridge drove in two runs, while Thatcher and Heivilin had one RBI.
Kelsey Diekman gave up six earned runs for Vicksburg. She struck out two and walked seven. Knapp led the Bulldogs with two hits, and Goertler, Richter, Remi O’Neil and Diekman singled.
“Everyone on the team tonight played a role in both wins,” Kutz said. “We left quite a few runners stranded on base but we managed to push through and the girls made things happen at the right times. Kylee really dominated tonight on the mound. She maintained her composure throughout 14 innings and came out on top. Kylee is a huge asset to our team and when she is on, she’s hard to hit. I’m super proud of the entire team tonight and I look forward to watching this group of girls grow this season.”
Photos by Nicci Plummer