Tigers sweep Bulldogs in doubleheader
After suffering a 14-8 loss against Allegan in the first game of a Wolverine Conference doubleheader on Friday, April 14, the Otsego softball team came out swinging in the nightcap.
The Bulldogs plated six first-inning runs—highlighted by a Lexi Bower grand slam—to jump out to a 6-0 lead and appeared poised to salvage the split.
The Tigers had other ideas.
Allegan continued to battle, eventually taking a 15-10 lead before handing the Bulldogs the 19-17 loss in extra innings.
With the wins, the Tigers improved to 3-1. Otsego slipped to 0-6.
“Those were two tough losses for us,” Otsego coach Jake Knash said. “We struggled on the mound. We just allowed too many hits.”
Kate McKee led the hit parade for Allegan in the second game, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, three runs and three RBI. Cambria Rader and Jordyn Maka each went 3-for-4 with a double, four runs and an RBI, while Leslie Scane went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI.
“The girls showed tremendous heart after spotting Otsego that 6-0 lead,” Allegan assistant coach Don Lamb said. “The girls slowly chipped away and showed a never-say-die attitude.”
With the score knotted at 15-15 through seven innings, Allegan scored four times in the top of the eighth to go up 19-15. An RBI single by Rader and a run-scoring groundout by Kelsey Clark highlighted the rally.
Otsego tried to fight back in the bottom of the frame, putting the first three runners on bases and scoring a pair of runs—including an RBI single by Ashley Lewis—to make it 19-17.
But Allegan pitcher Maka retired the next three batters on a pair of groundouts sandwiched around a lineout to end the threat and the game.
Bower paced the Bulldog offense by going 3-for-6 with the grand slam, two runs and seven RBI. Kassidy Wesaw (4-for-5 with a double, four runs and an RBI), Roni Powers (3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs), Lewis (2-for-5 with three runs and an RBI) and Lilly Laws (2-for-3 with a run and an RBI) also had multiple hits.
“I was very proud of our hitting,” Knash said. “Some girls really stepped up and hit the ball well.”
Game one saw Allegan holding a 3-2 lead after two innings before scoring five times in the third. The Tigers had another five-run uprising in the top of the sixth to push their lead to 14-5 at that time.
“The girls never looked back after scoring those five runs in the third inning,” Lamb said.
McKee, Rader and Arianna Davis all had three hits for Allegan. McKee went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, three runs and four RBI; Rader went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI; and Davis went 3-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBI.
Maka, who worked the complete game for the win, added a 2-for-5 showing that included a home run, a double, three runs and two RBI.
Otsego got two hits each from Wesaw, Madison Kinnane, Abbey Deamud and Katie Scheuer. Wesaw and Scheuer both had a double, as did Lewis and Bower.
Kassie Laduke started and took the loss for the Bulldogs.
“We really improved our hitting tonight, but struggled to come up with the big defensive plays,” Knash said. “We cannot allow this many runs and expect to win softball games. If we can tighten up our defense, we will turn the corner.”