By Mike Staley – Collegiate Staff
The Grand Rapids Community College Softball team swept the Ancilla College Chargers in a double-header at Belknap Park on Tuesday afternoon.
In the first showdown, The Raiders flexed their offensive muscles plating 12 runs in the six-inning game. Every hitter in the Raiders lineup had at least one hit with five players having multiple hits. Casey Evans, Autumn O’Keefe, and Andrea Chipman all had three RBI’s in the game.
Paige Mortenson was on the rubber for the Raiders and earned her second win on the young season. She gave up nine hits but limited the Chargers to only three earned runs all while striking out three and giving up zero walks.
The scoring started slow with the Raiders scoring one in the bottom of the first and the Chargers matching that run in the top half of the third. The fourth inning began a steady onslaught for the Raider bats. With runners on second and third, O’Keefe delivered a two-out triple to put the Raiders on top 3-2.
The runs kept coming for the Raiders in the fifth and sixth inning as they scored four and five runs in those innings. GRCC finished the game with a remarkable 17 hits with only eight runners left on base. The Chargers added a few more runs to make the score a little more respectable, but it wasn’t enough and after six innings, the game ended with a final score of 12-4 in favor of the Raiders.
The second game was a much more competitive game. The Raiders needed a strong outing from their starting pitcher, and that’s exactly what Evans gave them. She pitched a complete game and fanned six while only giving up three earned runs on seven hits.
The Chargers got on the board first with an RBI single from Leah Carter in the top of the third. The Raiders retaliated quickly scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning with RBI’s from Makayla Beld, Josie Manion, and Makenzie Larsen.
The top of the fourth saw the Chargers tie the game up at three runs a side but the Raiders once again immediately responded. In the bottom half of the fourth, O’Keefe doubled to lead off and Evans helped her own cause by hitting an RBI single up the middle. Stephanie Kruskie added an RBI later in the inning that would end up being the eventual game winning hit.
The Chargers added one more run in the top half of the next inning bringing the score to 5-4 with the Raiders holding the advantage. Evans closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh securing the 5-4 victory for the Raiders and completing the sweep of the double-header over the Chargers.
Five different Raiders had RBI’s in the second game and the team had a total of 10 hits. Evans earned her first win on the season in a strong outing for her both on the rubber as well as at the plate. With these two victories, the Raiders improve to 3-9 on the year and 2-2 in conference play.
“I think we executed really well as a team,” Beld said. “We pulled off two great wins and made timely plays and string hits together when we needed to.”
The Raiders will look to build on these two wins when they face the Lakers of Grand Valley State University on Thu., Mar. 29 at 7 p.m., at Belknap Park in Grand Rapids.