By Kaia Zimmerman
The Grand Rapids Community College softball team lost two games against Jackson College during a double-header at home on Saturday, March 20. The final scores were 15-5 and 15-7.
While the team did lose, the Raiders saw a drastic improvement in their hitting compared to their last game. They were more consistent and adjusted to the pitcher. These changes allowed GRCC to string together some great at bats, resulting in runs.
“Overall today was an improvement from yesterday,” said Head Coach Brian Skudre. “Hitting the ball was a lot better today and pitch selection was better today.”
Redshirt freshman Mariah Redding had a big impact on the offensive end and went three of four at the plate with two singles and a two-run home run. Redding thought the team improved from the last game on the offensive side.
“Today we did really well offensively and getting our hits around,” said Redding. “Yesterday we had trouble getting runs on the board, but today we really picked it up.”
Sophomore Alexa Abrahamson got the start in the first game for the Raiders on the mound. She would end up having five strikeouts in the game.
In the first inning, the Jets started out strong with a two-run double, putting them up 2-0. The Raiders rallied back when redshirt freshman Alexis Nguyen hit an RBI triple scoring sophomore Kate Stearns. The Jets would have an error on the following play, scoring Nguyen to tie the game, 2-2.
Following a three and out on defense, the Raiders went back to work on the offensive end. Redshirt freshman Marlo Abbey got a two run double to give the Raiders a 4-2 lead.
The Jets answered back quickly in the top of the third with a couple of base hits and an error by the Raiders defense to tie the game. The Jets would continue to score because of some errors by the GRCC defense and some solid hits, going up 8-4 at the end of the third inning.
In the sixth inning the Jets continued their success on the offensive end scoring three runs off of an RBI double and shortly after an RBI single. The Raiders would try to rally in the bottom of the sixth with two outs getting the bases loaded. They would score one, but the comeback fell short as a runner was tagged out at home.
In the seventh, the Raiders would have some errors to start the inning causing a bases-loaded situation with no outs. From there, the Jets were able to score four more and go up 15-5. The Raiders would fall short in the first game going three and out in the bottom of the seventh to end the first game.
One thing Skudre felt would help the team is to have more communication on the field and to limit errors on defense.
“We have to be more mentally strong on defense,” said Skudre. “Most of the errors that happened today weren’t physical errors, they were mental errors that can be easily fixed.”
Redding would get the start for the Raiders on the mound in the second game. Two quick outs got the Raiders a good start, but three straight walks by Redding would set up a three run single by the Jets. Shortly after the Jets would have two more runs come across the plate off of an error and a single going up 5-0.
In the bottom of the second inning the Raiders went on a two out rally to load the bases, but they couldn’t capitalize and came up empty in the inning.
The Jets would tack on more runs to their lead after an RBI triple, an RBI double and an RBI single going up 8-0. The Raiders got on the board when redshirt freshman Brooklynne Siewertsen got an RBI single, and freshman Krin Beach got a two run single decreasing the Jets lead 8-3.
The Jets would only increase their lead from then on, having solid at-bats and forcing errors by the Raiders would put them up big, 15-5. Mariah Redding got the Raiders’ first home run of the season scoring two runs, but the Raiders wouldn’t be able to score enough to come back, losing the second game, 15-7.
The Raiders will look to bounce back when they face Glen Oaks Community College on Tuesday, March 23 at 1 p.m.
“We’re excited especially if our offense keeps building like this,” said Skudre. “We should be getting closer to where we want to be.”