Onekama sweeps Shelby in thrilling fashion

ONEKAMA — In its sweep of Shelby on Thursday, the Onekama softball team showcased two ways to win: convincingly and in thrilling fashion.

The Portagers brought their bats to the opener, cruising to an 18-8 mercy-rule victory in five innings, while it took extras in the nightcap for them to secure a 5-4 walk-off win in seven.

“It was an exciting day,” said Onekama coach Rob Johnson, “and it was really fun for our girls.”

Onekama scored steadily in Game 1, plating five runs in the first, four in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth and four more for good measure in the fifth.

Highlighting the offense was Portager shortstop Hanna Hughes’ career-first over-the-fence home run. On her next plate appearance, Hughes followed her solo shot up with an RBI hit off the left field fence.

“She had a great day,” Johnson said. 

Onekama’s Sophie Wisniski went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Ajah Fink went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and Ashley McGrady and Maggy Lawson each had a hit and two RBIs to their name.

Wisniski was the winning pitcher in Game 1, allowing eight runs on eight hits with 10 strikeouts in four innings. Hughes pitched an inning of relief, allowing two hits with a strikeout.

The nightcap was more tightly contested, as a Shelby run in the top of the sixth tied the game up at 4-4 and eventually sent it into extras.

In the bottom of the seventh, however, a pair of Onekama bunts secured the series sweep.

Ella Acton kicked things off with a bunt single down the third base line. She eventually advanced to second on an wild pitch, as Wisniski was at the plate. Wisniski made it back-to-back bunts when she put it in play, and on a Shelby throwing error, Acton came around to score the winning run.

Wisniski went 2-for-2 in the nightcap with an RBI while Ellie Magnan was 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs to lead the Portager offense.

Hughes and Wisniski pitched in the nightcap as well, with Hughes allowing three runs on six hits with a strikeout in two innings and Wisniski allowing one unearned run on three hits with five strikeouts in five.

Bear Lake splits with Marion

BEAR LAKE — Some extra-inning heroics lifted the Bear Lake softball team over Marion, 6-5, in the opener of its doubleheader on Thursday, but the Lakers fell short in the nightcap, 8-2, to end the series in a split.

Zoey Sutton’s two-out line drive to left field with the bases loaded scored the winning run for Bear Lake in Game 1. Sutton finished the opener 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs while Abigail Cross went 3-for-4, including a double and a triple, with an RBI and a run scored. Bear Lake’s Hayley May went 2-for-3 with a double and Shaely Waller went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

May pitched all seven innings of Game 1, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits and four walks while striking out 11 batters.

Despite a close battle in the early innings, the Eagles pulled away late in Game 2 to even the twin bill.

May allowed eight runs (three earned) on six hits and six walks while striking out four in the nightcap.

At the plate, freshman Elizabeth Kilbourn led the Lakers by going 2-for-2 with two RBIs while Liliana Brown was 2-for-3 and Kalissa Swanson went 1-for-2 with a run scored a stolen base.

Despite the Game 2 loss, Bear Lake coach Garret Waller was pleased with the overall performance, citing that the Lakers put the bat on the ball all night long.

“The first game we only struck out three times and the second game four, so playing 13 innings and only striking out seven times was a stat that stuck out to me,” he said. “The other thing was we only had four errors. That’s the type of stuff we’re looking for.

“Haley pitched very well tonight, but we’ve got to try to limit her walks,” he said. “And that’s going to come. We just need to get some more games under her belt.

“Overall, I was pretty happy with the way we played. In that second game, it seemed like everything we hit was right at somebody. We’re making contact, putting it in play, but it was just one of those things.”

Bobcats suffer first setback of season

MUSKEGON — The Brethren baseball team had shown little to no sign of weakness leading up to Thursday’s doubleheader with Muskegon Oakridge, but finally hit a speed bump.

The Bobcats suffered their first and second losses of the season at the hands of the Division 2 Eagles, falling 12-0 and 13-4.

“We knew coming down here that this would be a tough team,” said Brethren coach Julie Riggs, “but that’s what we want to do with the boys, get them some tough competition for these non-conference games. Mix it up a little bit.”

Riggs used a committee of pitchers throughout the evening, which included Jake Riggs, Skylar Wojciechowski, Adrian Dean, Mike King, Mason Stapley and Tyler Guinan.

“We have a tournament this weekend, so I really had to watch their pitch counts,” she said.

The Bobcats couldn’t find their offense in Thursday’s opener as Muskegon Oakridge scored steadily to secure the win in five innings. Brethren’s Gavin Asiala and Jake Riggs each went 1-for-3 at the plate.

Brethren managed to plate some runs in the nightcap, but couldn’t keep pace in another five-inning defeat. Riggs and Hunter Wojciechowski each went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs apiece. Tyler Guinan went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.

The Bobcats will host Bear Lake and Marion on Saturday for their annual Bobcat Invitational. Games start at 9:30 a.m.

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