2017-05-04 / Sports

Bulldogs Softball Team Establishes Strong Momentum

By Kevin R. Hess

The Rudyard Bulldogs softball team moved to 4-0 with a decisive victory over Mackinaw City, 26-1 in three innings Monday, April 24, at Mackinaw City. The Lady Bulldogs scored 18 in the first inning and seven in the second to put this one away early. Bailey VanSloten led the charge with four hits, including a home run and double, and four RBI. Emilee Curtis also homered for the Bulldogs and drove in three. Jordan Spring had three hits, two doubles, and two RBI. Lane Clegg, Cierra Molina, and Esther Berkompas each had two hits. Clegg drove in three, while Spring and Molina each had two RBI. Berkompas, Jasmine Benson, and Autumn Lemmerman had one RBI.

Emilee Curtis pitched one inning, giving up one hit and striking out two. Bailey VanSloten pitched the final two innings, allowing one run, no hits, striking out three, and walking two. Kyra Cryderman had the lone hit for the Comets (2-3).

Thursday, April 27, the Bulldogs lost two close games to Rogers City, including a walk-off in game two. In game one, Rudyard fell 8-3 after grabbing the lead early. The Bulldogs scored in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead, but eight unanswered runs by Rogers City put the Lower Peninsula team on top. Bailey VanSloten led the Bulldogs with three hits and an RBI. Emilee Curtis pitched all six innings, giving up eight runs on 10 hits, striking out three.

In game two, Rogers City won in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off hit, winning the game 3- 2. The Bulldogs again struck first in the opening inning, but single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings gave Rogers City the 2-1 advantage. The score remained the same until the sixth, when Rudyard tied the game at 2- 2. Rogers City scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to take game two and sweep the doubleheader. Emilee Curtis again pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on five hits, striking out four batters.

The Bulldogs traveled to Boyne City to participate in the Boyne City Invitational Saturday, April 29. They lost the opener to host Boyne City 12-0, but bounced back with victories against a strong Marquette team, 5-4, and North Muskegon, 10-1.

In the opening game, the Bulldogs managed just two hits and committed five errors in a 12-0 loss to Boyne City. Boyne City scored three in the first and five in the third to put this one away early. Lane Clegg and Haley VanSloten recorded the only hits for Rudyard. Emilee Curtis took the loss on the mound, pitching four innings, allowing eight runs (none earned) on eight hits, while striking out five. Bailey VanSloten pitched the final inning, allowing four runs (one earned) on two hits, striking out two, and walking one.

The Bulldogs bounced back against a great Marquette team, scoring a 5-4 victory. Bailey VanSloten, Cierra Molina, and Madison Mac- Dowell each had two hits. Jordan Spring and Haley VanSloten each had one hit. Curtis went the distance on the mound, allowing four runs on seven hits.

“Marquette has a pitcher who will be pitching at Oakland University next year,” said head Coach Kurt Kwiatkowski. “We were able to put the bat on the ball against her and eventually started to hit her hard. That was a great win against a quality division one program.”

The Bulldogs kept the momentum going in their final game, recording 15 hits and defeating North Muskegon 10-1. Rudyard scored single runs in the first and third innings on RBI singles by Molina. North Muskegon got one back in the bottom of the third, but it would be the only run they would score. The Bulldogs crossed home plate three times in the fourth inning on three hits and two errors, and three more times in the sixth on four hits, two walks, and an error. A two-run double by Spring in the seventh inning completed the scoring.

Molina and Bailey VanSloten led the offense with three hits apiece. MacDowell, Curtis, and Autumn Lemmerman each had two hits. Spring, Haley VanSloten, and Esther Berkompas also had hits. Spring and MacDowell had two RBI, while Curtis, Molina, Haley VanSloten, and Clegg each had one. Curtis again pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits, striking out eight, and walking two.

“We came out flat in the opening game against a good Boyne City team,” said Coach Kwiatkowski, “but we were able to bounce back” nicely.

The Bulldogs (6-3) next play at Newberry, Thursday, May 4.

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