Chippewas rout Ludington in softball league opener

Manistee’s Erin Dorn (3) puts the ball in play during the Chippewas’ doubleheader sweep of Ludington in their softball season opener on Tuesday. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

Manistee’s Erin Dorn (3) puts the ball in play during the Chippewas’ doubleheader sweep of Ludington in their softball season opener on Tuesday. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

By KYLE KOTECKI

For the News Advocate

MANISTEE – It took a few innings for the Manistee softball team’s bats to heat up, but heat up they did as the Chippewas swept their Lakes-8 doubleheader against Ludington 11-1 and 15-0 Tuesday.

Manistee crossed home plate first when Kari Zimmerman hit a 2-run single in the bottom of the second with a shot to left field, putting MHS up 2-0.

Manistee and Ludington both scored in the third, and after a scoreless fourth, Manistee held a 3-1 lead going into the fifth.

And that’s when their hitters caught fire.

“They put in a different pitcher and we seemed to just tee off on them,” Manistee head coach Ross Vander Weele said.

Zimmerman paced the Chippewas’ offense, going 2-for-3 with three RBI. Sara Schaefer went 3-for-4 while Sara Thompson batted 2-for-3. MHS stranded six baserunners in game one.

Emma Witkowski had a solid showing on the mound, giving up just six hits, one run, and netting five strikeouts.

Manistee picked up where they left off in game two, with Thompson tallying four strikeouts and giving up just one walk in four innings pitched.

Cameron Edmondson led the MHS offense by going 2-for-2 with a huge triple and three RBI. Schaefer and Erin Vander Weele both finished 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Madison Miller batted 2-for-4 with a triple.

Despite the impressive performance, coach Vander Weele believes the team can continue to improve moving forward.

“We still have some stuff we need to work on,” he said. “There’s stuff we need to look at from yesterday from Pine River. Some mental mistakes.

“The girls were a lot more focused today,” Vander Weele continued. “They kept their heads together and didn’t let up.”

The Chippewas are having fun and happy to finally be playing ball after having 18 games cancelled due to the weather.

“This is a good win,” Vander Weele said. “We’ve got Frankfort coming to town on Friday, so we’ve got two days to work on things.”

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