Mohawks stay hot at the plate in sweep

Morley Stanwood combines to scores 23 runs in two tight wins over Cardinals

MORLEY — In a doubleheader full of run production, Morley Stanwood’s softball team edged out Big Rapids 12-8 and 11-10 in a twinbill sweep Tuesday.

CLOSE CALL: Morley Stanwood catcher Sam Carey looks to apply the tag to Big Rapids’ Makayla Martinson. (Pioneer photo/Greg Buckner)

The Mohawks and Cardinals traded runs back-and-forth in both contests, but Morley Stanwood ended up on the right side of the score column in the two contests.

“It’s always a good feeling to beat Big Rapids,” Morley Stanwood head coach Andrea Raven said. “But any win in the league is important. We’re battling for a league title, so every game matters. We’ve had to fight and claw, but the girls are responding positively to it.”

In the opener, the teams were deadlocked at 4-4 after three innings before Morley Stanwood’s Mallory Raven blasted a three-run double in the bottom of the fourth to give the Mohawks a 7-4 lead.

The Cardinals battled right back in the top of the fifth with a two-run double from Taylor Leach and an RBI groundout by Kendra Enszer to knot the score at 7-7.

The game would go to the Mohawks though, as Raven would hit a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth to give Morley Stanwood enough of a cushion to hold on for the victory.

Kaci Garver was the winning pitcher for the Mohawks, giving up five hits and striking out two in four innings after relieving starter Brianna Wiersema after she went three innings, giving up one hit and striking out three.

Kailey Hunt pitched six innings for Big Rapids to earn the loss, giving up 10 hits and seven earned runs while striking out four.

Raven lead the Mohawks offensively with three hits and four RBIs, with Jennie Kizer blasting out a solo home run and scoring two runs and Wiersema scoring three runs and recording a double.

Kelly Taylor and Kayla Chamberlain paced the Cardinals with two hits and runs apiece while Kelsey Cushway blasted a solo home run.

The Cardinals and Mohawks once again traded runs throughout the second game. Morley Stanwood raced out to a 10-3 lead after three innings of play, but Big Rapids stormed back with six runs in the top of the fourth to trail 10-9.

Leach tied the game in the top of the sixth on an RBI single, but Garver forced two popups and a groundout to escape the inning and leave runners stranded at first and second.

With two out in the bottom of the sixth and a runner on second, Lindsey Veersma belted an RBI double to give the Mohawks the 11-10 lead. Garver sealed the victory for Morley Stanwood by forcing three groundouts and leaving a baserunner stranded at first in the top of the seventh.

“We played hard, but the outcome didn’t go the way we wanted it,” Big Rapids head coach Darcy Balahoski said. “We had some awesome defensive plays and the girls came back and rallied all night. It was great to see them come together as a team. We haven’t seen that yet, but they came together (Tuesday). It was just a well played game all around.”

Garver picked up her second win of the day for the Mohawks in the nightcap, giving up three hits and striking out one in four innings of work after relieving Raven after she exited the game after three innings.

Sam Carey stole three bases and scored two runs for the Mohawks, with Mekayla Carey recording two hits and an RBI and Mackenzie Hoisington tallying a two-run single.

Emily Schlaupitz took the loss on the mound for Big Rapids, going four innings and giving up five hits and two earned runs. Rachel Hendrick started the game for the Cardinals, giving up four earned runs and throwing seven wild pitches in two innings of work.

Offensively, Taylor Nemeth had two runs and RBIs apiece for the Cardinals and Enszer went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Big Rapids (2-6, 1-5) will host Pine River Thursday while Morley Stanwood (7-1, 7-1) hosts Central Montcalm Friday.

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