By Kaia Zimmerman
The Grand Rapids Community College softball team was unable to secure a win in their double-header versus Kalamazoo Valley Community College on Thursday, April 22, losing 8-2 and 17-5, dropping to 0-4 in the season series.
The score didn’t reflect the level of competition in the two games as the Raiders kept it tight, but unfortunately could not finish to give them a chance to win. However,the Raiders saw drastic improvements from their previous matchup versus the Cougars.
“We showed a lot of improvement on offense, defense and pitching,” said head coach Brian Skudre. “It didn’t necessarily reflect on the scoreboard but we were hitting a lot better, and fielding a lot cleaner.”
The Raiders were led by redshirt freshman Alexis Nguyen, who hit her third home run of the season, as well as a double to knock in three runs for GRCC along with redshirt-freshman Haley Van Huis who went 3 for 4 at the plate in the second game.
Sophomore Alexa Abrahamson got the start for the Raiders on the mound in game one. She would give up eight runs on 11 hits with four walks and four strikeouts.
The Cougars got on the board first, in the top of the second, after two singles and a walk left the bases loaded for Kalamazoo leading to another walk to score their first run to take the lead, 1-0.
In the top of third, the Cougars reached on an error leading to a sacrifice fly later in the inning to extend their lead, 2-0. The Raiders had trouble getting anything going offensively through the end of the third.
After a quick top half of the fourth inning, the Raiders started the bottom of the fourth with a single by redshirt-freshman Brooklynne Siewertsen who was scored after a two-run home run by Nguyen tying the game 2-2 at the end of the fourth.
KVCC came out swinging in the top of the fifth racking up five straight hits with three singles and two doubles to take back the lead, 8-2.
The Raiders were shut down on the offensive end in the sixth and seventh as the Cougars took the first game, 8-2.
Redshirt-freshman Mariah Redding would get the start for the Raiders in the second game, giving up 11 runs on 14 hits with three walks and one strikeout.
The Raiders were the first to score when they got a rally going in the bottom of the first. The rally was started by Van Huis who had a double followed by a bunt single by Siewertsen. Two groundouts by the Raiders would score Van Huis and Siewertsen as GRCC took a 2-0 lead. Redding drew a walk which redshirt-freshman Marlo Abbey followed with a single, setting up an RBI double from freshman Krin Beach and an RBI single by freshman Kyla Andres to score two more, pushing their lead to 4-0 at the end of the first.
The Cougars bounced back in the second inning, after two runners reached on base, a sacrifice fly and two doubles would score three for the Cougars to cut the Raiders lead to one, 4-3, going into the third inning.
The Cougars would take the lead in the top of the fourth, after a single scored two putting them up, 5-4. They would tack on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning giving them a 7-4 lead over the Raiders.
The Raiders would look to bounce back after giving up the lead in the bottom of the fifth, when Nguyen hit a double, and would later be scored by Redding off of a double to cut down on the Cougars lead, 7-5.
In the top of the sixth, the Cougars were on fire recording five-straight doubles along with a couple of singles, as they tallied 10 runs in the inning taking a huge lead over the Raiders, and securing the win, 17-5.
The Raiders will look to snap their six-game losing streak when they face Ancilla College on sophomore night where they will honor Abrahamson and Kate Stearns, starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday April 24.
“It’s going to be hard to see (the sophomores) go,” said Skudre. “They have been with us for three years now, and have brought a lot to the program, but it should be a good game and I am excited to get to the weekend and we should hopefully be able to get some wins.”