By Matthew Scheidel
The Grand Rapids Community College softball team absolutely dominated the Glen Oaks Vikings by taking both games in the double-header via the mercy rule on Tuesday night at Belknap Park.
In the first game, the Raiders got the scoring started early with three runs in the first inning, headlined by a two-run double from Madison Marble to make it 3-0 early on. They didn’t score again until the fourth inning when pitcher Alexa Abrahamson hit a solo home run to left field. It was the first home run of her collegiate career.
“It was very surprising,” Abrahamson said. “I wasn’t expecting that I just really wanted to get a hit, so that was nice.”
Abrahamson was also very effective on the mound. She pitched six scoreless innings and got the win.
“Steph (Kruskie) called really nice pitches,” said Abrahamson. “I felt like we were on the same page the whole day. In every situation, she called the correct pitch and I was on board with it. It really helped our execution.”
The Raiders finished off the Vikings in game one with three runs in the sixth inning. Andi Chipman scored on a wild pitch, followed by RBI singles from Aaron Kietzman and Marble as the Raiders took game one 8-0.
The Raiders picked up right where they left off to start game two with five runs in the first inning. Chipman, who finished with five hits combined in the two games, hit a single to get things going. After stealing second base and reaching third on an error, she scored on a Sierra Stoepker RBI single. Kietzman followed with an RBI double. Ryleigh Kasonowicz had an RBI single and Kate Stearns concluded the scoring in the inning with a two-run double.
Things weren’t looking as easy as the first game for a moment in the third inning, as Glen Oaks scored four runs following a two-out error by pitcher Brooke Klein to make it 5-4. But Marble answered for the Raiders in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run shot, her fifth of the season. She finished with three doubles on the night as well.
Moving on to the fifth inning, Klein drove in Marble on a double of her own. She would later score on a fielder’s choice to make it 9-4. The Raiders finished off the Vikings with three more runs in the sixth inning to take game two, 12-4.
Head coach Brian Skudre was happy to see his team sweep a double-header, as they have had trouble with that this season.
“It was a great feeling,” said Skudre. “We had just worked hard yesterday. We felt like we had a boulder of negativity on us and we just had a mental practice yesterday to try to get rid of that and get refocused and I think we can see that that happened today, especially in the second game. We’ve had some struggles during the second games but that wasn’t the case today.”
Skudre put runners in motion in both games, as the Raiders had three stolen bases on the night. That is something that he likes to see his team do in every game.
“When we get the opportunity, we like to be aggressive on the bases,” Skudre said. “I like to create our runs and put pressure on the defense and the girls have been really good at adapting that with us. You could see that was in motion today and we’re hoping to carry that over into the second half of the season.”
With the sweep, the Raiders improved to 8-18-1 overall and 8-10 in conference. Their next home matchup will be another double-header against the Ancilla College Chargers on Saturday, April 20. The first game will start at 1 p.m.