Lakers sweep Cougars on the road

BIG RAPIDS — Bear Lake softball swept West Michigan D League foe Big Rapids Crossroads on Friday, winning 16-0 via the mercy rule before coming behind from a 3-run deficit to win the nightcap 15-9.

In the opener, the Lakers scored 10 runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Hayley May gave up just two hits while striking out three in three innings before the game was ended due to the mercy rule.

“In the first game they threw a little slower pitcher at us,” said Bear Lake head coach Garret Waller. “It took us a little bit to get her timed up after (Grand Traverse Academy’s pitcher on Thursday), because she was throwing about 20 miles per hour slower. But once we got her timed up we started hitting the ball.”

May gave herself plenty of run support, batting 3-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run and four RBIs. Liliana Brown finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs, Alyssa Eisenlohr went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Julie Schmidt hit 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

The Cougars were able to get up early in the nightcap, largely due to the Lakers’ seven errors. Crossroads led 8-5 before Bear Lake’s eight-run fourth inning put them up by five. The Lakers tacked on two more runs in the fifth and the Cougars’ only managed one run in the sixth, allowing Bear Lake to complete the sweep.

“We mercied them in three innings and took a little break and they decided to come back not very focused,” Waller said. “We were losing 8-5 in the fourth inning. They finally pulled it together and we ended up winning 15-9.”

May allowed no earned runs, giving up just three hits and five walks while striking out eight in six innings.

“The story of that game was that we had seven errors and Hayley pitched six innings, only allowed three hits, nine runs and zero earned runs,” Waller said. “Those seven errors cost us all of their runs. … She pitched a total of nine innings and only allowed five hits and struck out 11 batters.

“Sometimes for an inning or two we’re just not playing good defense,” he continued. “I made a little position change and we might see how that goes for a while. Or maybe we just need to practice a little harder. I don’t know what it is, but we’ll get it figured out. We have to get it figured out because we have districts coming.”

Shaely Waller paced Bear Lake at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs. May went 1-for-2 with another inside-the-park home run and three RBIs and Abigail Cross batted 1-for-1, recording an RBI and drawing three walks.

Bear Lake hosts Manistee Monday at 4 p.m.

“I’m pretty excited to put a tough team into that spot with districts coming up,” Garret Waller said. “You want to win every game, but this is more of a learning and experience thing to gain some momentum for districts. I think it’s going to be a good thing regardless of a win or a loss.”

Chippewas drop one to Suttons Bay

SUTTONS BAY — Manistee soccer came up just short at Suttons Bay on Friday, falling 2-1.

The Chippewas (8-6-2) looked good out of the gate, scoring early on when Amber Miller assisted on a goal by Olivia Smith to give Manistee the early lead.

“We passed well,” said Manistee head coach Jaclyn Trahan. “We were trying to find looks up top. It was congested in the middle, so we were trying to play it out wide.”

The Norsemen (12-3-1) were able to find the back of the net before the first half expired and the two teams went into halftime tied 1-1.

“We just needed to pick up the intensity a little bit with how we started,” Trahan said. “Overall, the girls played well but it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Suttons Bay scored another goal midway through the second half to take the lead. Manistee was unable to respond and the Norsemen came out on top.

With districts looming, the Chippewas’ bench was bolstered by some move-ups from the junior varsity team. Trahan was happy with how the newcomers meshed with the team.

“The JV season ended so we pulled up a few girls for districts,” Trahan said. “The team did well leading those girls who were coming up for the first time. … The teamwork there and the encouragement for everyone was really a positive.”

The Chippewas host Muskegon Catholic Central on Monday at 6 p.m.

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