The Grand Rapids Community College softball team opened up play in Michigan with a conference debut against Delta College. The Raiders went 1-2 against the Pioneers, splitting the series on Friday, March 24, and lost on Sunday.
In the first game, both teams struggled to score due to excellent pitching from both teams, including freshman ace pitcher Izabella Regner, who had six strikeouts headed into the fourth inning, Prior to the fourth inning, Regner flied out to left field but sophomore Jaye Guichelaar scored which gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead. Headed into the sixth inning, the score was tied at one run each, but both teams scored in the inning to make it 2-2. Freshman catcher Samara Kolehouse singled up the middle which allowed Regner to slide home. In the top of the seventh, Delta College took control of the game as they scored two runs to take a 4-2 lead. GRCC was unable to rally in the bottom of the seventh which gave the Pioneers the first victory of the double-header.
Regner pitched all seven innings, giving up one earned run (ER), six hits while striking out 14 batters. Guichelaar had two hits including a triple and one run. The team had a total of seven hits.
Game two proved to be an offensive masterclass as GRCC defeated Delta College 17-4. The Raiders started the game off strong with a five-run inning in the bottom of the first. Guichelaar started the batting rampage with a triple, then Regner hit a homerun for the Raiders. In the second inning, the Raiders took advantage of multiple Pioneer errors, as they stole a total of three bases in the inning. Guichelaar and freshman Madison Lemke both scored on throwing errors while freshman Lauren James singled to give GRCC an 8-0 lead after the second inning. The Pioneers answered with one run in the top of the third and then followed that by shutting the Raiders out in the bottom of the third. Then, Delta College scored two runs to make it 8-3 headed into the bottom of the fourth. In their best performance of any inning this season, the Raiders scored nine runs effortlessly, led by five GRCC hits. Starting the inning, two Raiders immediately got on base which led to a Kolehouse RBI. Toward the end of the inning, Brynn McArthur got her second at-bat of the inning and homered to left field, giving the Raiders a 17-3 lead. The final inning saw the Pioneers scoring one run which led to the Raider victory.
Guichelaar had a team high three hits, two runs, and one RBI. Regner had a strong performance with two hits, two runs, and three RBI’s. McArthur added two hits, three runs, and three RBI’s. Lastly, freshman Macy Huver pitched the whole game for GRCC, striking out one batter while only giving up four hits and two ER
Before the final game of the series, the double-header that was scheduled on Saturday, March 25, was canceled due to poor weather. The double-header was rescheduled for Wednesday, April 7.
On Sunday, March 26, the Raiders faced Delta College in the final game of the series. The Pioneers scored in the top of the first but the Raiders responded in the bottom of the first as Regner hit her second home run of the series. The score stayed 1-1 until the top of the third which saw the Pioneers take a 2-1 lead. Both teams were led by their pitching, as the score remained 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth. In the sixth inning, McArthur hit a two-run home run down the left field line. Kolehouse added to the lead with a sacrifice hit to get an RBI. However, the Pioneers played their best ball in the top of the seventh which led to a 5-4 lead. GRCC put themselves in great position to win the game as Guichelaar was on third base with two outs. The Raiders were unable to take advantage as they were defeated by the Pioneers 5-4.
Guichelaar continued her impressive series with three hits throughout the game. McArthur added one hit, two RBI’s and one run while Kolehouse added an RBI. Lastly, Regner pitched all seven innings only giving up five hits, three ER, and 11 strikeouts. She also had two hits and one RBI.
The Raiders move to 8-7 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. The double-header with Cornerstone on Tuesday, March 28 was canceled due to weather.
Head coach Chuck White was impressed with a few players throughout the Delta series while acknowledging a few things the team can work on.
“Both Jaye and Brynn were phenomenal at the plate over the weekend,” White said. “We are a young team and need to stay calm and play fast, not hurried. We had a great week of practice and we’re feeling good about the upcoming games with Mid Michigan. “
The Raiders face Mid Michigan in their next series, as they travel to Harrison to play five games between Thursday, March 30, and Sunday, April 2.