By Kaia Zimmerman
Grand Rapids Community College softball opened their season with a double-header against Lansing Community College where they lost both games, 7-0 and 8-0 in five innings.
The GRCC softball team had their season canceled last year due to COVID-19, so they were excited to get back on the field.
“It is so nice to give them some sense of normalcy again,” said Head Coach Brian Skudre.
Sophomore Alexa Abrahamson got the start on the mound for the Raiders.
“I was really nervous at first, but then it felt really good to get back into it,” Abrahamson said.
Abrahamson started out strong with four strikeouts in the first three innings, but the Raiders could not capitalize off of the great pitching and defense, and came up empty on the offensive end.
In the top of the third, the Stars had an RBI single by Jordan Deibel which put them up 1-0. Shortly after, Kara Mohoney had an RBI single to put the Stars up 2-0. The Raiders tried to get something going on the offensive end when redshirt freshman Taylor Cross got a single, but they could not string together enough hits to make an impact, and would end the third down 2-0. The Raiders could not adjust to the pitcher who was throwing drop balls and aimed for the outside which led to trouble on the offensive end.
In the top of the fourth, the Stars started with an inside the park home run which would put them up 3-0. The Raiders would go three up, three down in the bottom of the fourth.
The game would stay 3-0 until the top of the seventh when Abrahamson gave up a three run home run, giving the Stars a 6-0 lead, and then a triple by the Stars would score another run. The Raiders would try to rally in the bottom of the seventh when they got a player on early, but would come up short, losing the first game 7-0.
The Raiders felt they needed to communicate more to have more success. They started off strong in the game, but couldn’t string together hits on the offensive end to get any scoring.
“We have to work on our communication,” said Skudre. “We have to work on staying excited throughout the whole game and get our offense going.”
Redshirt freshman Mariah Redding started pitching for the second game for the Raiders, and got out to a great start. She carried a shutout through the first two innings, but again the Raiders had trouble producing on the offensive end and weren’t able to capitalize on Redding’s incredible start.
In the third, the Stars got on the board with an RBI double going up 1-0 in the top of the third. The Raiders got a runner in scoring position off of a base hit and error, but failed to score her to keep the Stars with a one run lead.
In the top of the fourth the Stars had a runner in scoring position after an error by Redding on a bunt which led to an RBI double for the Stars and a sacrifice fly RBI giving them a 3-0 lead in the fourth. The Raiders were getting some solid hits, but faced the same problem as before and couldn’t capitalize when runners were in scoring position.
In the top of the fifth, Abrahamson went back on the mound replacing Redding. Abrahamson would end up giving a two run home run extending the lead for the Stars, 6-0. An error by the Raiders would give the Stars two more runs. The Raiders would try to get something going in the bottom of the fifth, but could not, which would end the game in a mercy rule, 8-0.
While they did lose, they also saw some bright spots during the game.
“Pitching started off well,” said Skudre. “On defense we had a very solid left side of the field today, and the catching was phenomenal.”
The Raiders will look to bounce back when they face Jackson College at Belknap Park on Saturday, March 20 starting at 1 p.m.