Edwardsburg bats get hot against Dowagiac

Published 9:20 am Thursday, April 27, 2017

Defending Wolverine Conference champion Edwardsburg flexed its muscles with a sweep of Dowagiac Tuesday afternoon.

The Eddies improved to 8-2 overall and 3-1 in the Wolverine Conference with wins of 11-0 and 7-2.

Dowagiac drops to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in league play.

“We knew going into the Edwardsburg games that we needed to play some pretty flawless softball and that didn’t happen,” said Dowagiac coach Mike Behnke. “Not only did we make physical errors, but we were making mental errors. And they are too good up and down their lineup to give extra outs. We will need to put these games behind us and work to get better at something everyday to make us a better team.”

The Eddies and Chieftains were scoreless through three innings when Edwardsburg scored a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the fourth.

Hannah Shoupe started the rally with a leadoff single. Lexi Clark sacrificed Shoupe to second.

With two outs, Courtney Ryker doubled to plate Shoupe with what turned out to be the game-winning run.

Courtesy runner Miranda Hurley scored on a single by Ali Strycker.

Edwardsburg exploded for six runs in the sixth inning and then added three more in the top half of the seventh.

In the sixth, Shoupe doubled, while Clark Ryker and Kailee Claire all singled. In the seventh, Claire singled to drive in a run, while Stinnett doubled home a run.

A Dowagiac error accorded for the third run of the inning.

Stycker went the distance, allowing five hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Claire, Stinnett, Shoupe and Ryker all had two hits.

Taylor Hulett started and took the loss for the Chieftains as she allowed eight earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts.

Mekenna Gaideski doubled for Dowagiac.

Kailey Fear pitched the seventh, allowing no earned runs on two hits.

In the nightcap, Ashley Pion allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts for the Eddies.

“Both pitchers, Ali and Ashley, did an outstanding job throwing tonight,” said Edwardsburg coach Randy Brooks. “I thought this was Ali’s best performance of the year. We played pretty solid defense and our hitting is starting to come along.

“This is the beginning of a big week for us with Niles on Thursday, South Haven Friday and a tournament at Lakeshore Saturday. It’s nice to get some momentum and confidence going.”

Michaela Ritschard was 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Clark had two hits. Savannah Dixon doubled for Edwardsburg.

Hulett pitched all seven innings for Dowagiac, giving up five earned runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts.

The Chieftains got doubles from Amiyah Smith and Shelby Jackson.



At Dowagiac

First game

Edwardsburg 000      206      3 – 11 10 2

Dowagiac                       000      000      0 – 0 5 6

Ali Strycker (W); Taylor Hulett (L), Kailey Fear (7).

2B: Layne Stinnett (E), Hannah Shoupe (E), Courtney Ryker (E), Mekenna Gaideski (D).


Second game

Edwardsburg           100      302      1 – 7 11 0

Dowagiac                   100      100      0 – 2 6 4

Ashley Pion (W); Taylor Hulett (L).

2B: Savannah Dixon (E), Amiyah Smith (D), Shelby Jackson (D).

Varsity records: Edwardsburg 8-2, 3-1 Wolverine; Dowagiac