Otsego softball coach Jake Knash holds his daughter Rylee prior to the start of the second annual Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament, which raises money for children with Type 1 Diabetes. (Photo provided)

Otsego softball raises $9,000 to help children with Type 1 Diabetes

Jason Wesseldyk

The Otsego softball team finished its home Rylee Lou Charity Softball Tournament Saturday, April 16, with a 2-1 record—including a dramatic comeback win over South Haven in its final game—to take third place in the eight-team field.
More importantly, the Bulldogs helped raise more than $9,000 to help children with Type 1 Diabetes.
The tournament is named for Otsego coach Jake Knash’s young daughter, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2014.
“I was so happy with the turnout for this event,” Knash said. “Rylee got to throw the ceremonial first pitch to me before the first game. As a dad, it doesn’t get any better than that. There are many people who helped put this tournament on and make it a success. We are so thankful to all the businesses in town that donated to our cause.
“I owe the biggest thanks to my wife, Sarah. She’s the one who had the idea last year to start the charity to support kids living with Type 1 Diabetes. She puts so much time in putting this event on. She is the one behind the scenes taking care of everything. This event definitely would not happen without her.”
As for the on-the-field action, St. Joseph took the top spot with Vicksburg right ahead of Otsego in second place.
The Bulldogs’ saved their best for last, falling behind South Haven 8-1 in their third and final game of the day. Otsego then rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and five in the seventh to complete the comeback and post the 10-8 victory.
“These girls have so much fight in them,” Knash said. “I’m so pleased with their effort. They just never quit.”
Kassidy Wesaw had a single to plate the tying run in the seventh, while Roni Powers delivered a two-run single two hitters later to give Otsego the lead.
Bulldog pitcher Madison Kinnane did the rest, using two groundballs and a fly ball to retire the Rams in order in the bottom of the seventh and seal the victory.
Kinnane went the distance on the mound, surrendering only two earned runs. She also went 2-for-3 with a double at the plate.
“Madison is such a hard worker,” Knash said. “And she was so composed when she came out to pitch the seventh.”
Emma Nuyen went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI for Otsego (6-3).
The Bulldogs opened the day with a  19-2 win over Hackett Catholic Central. Nuyen led the offensive attack with a 4-for-4 effort that included a double, a triple and four runs.
Nikki Hoover (2-for-5 with two runs) and Wesaw (2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI) joined Nuyen with multiple hits.
Powers pitched all five innings of the mercy-rule-shortened affair, allowed run runs of four this with six strikeouts.

For full story, pick up a copy of the April 21 issue of The Allegan County News, the April 25 issue of The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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