Chieftains, Bucks sweep opponents

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

DOWAGIAC — It was a historic night at Dowagiac as the host Chieftains swept Cassopolis in a non-conference softball doubleheader Monday afternoon.

The Chieftains (2-0) swept with Rangers (0-2) 13-1 and 10-6.

In the opening game, veteran Dowagiac coach Mike Behnke picked up his 300th career victory.

“I was telling the girls kind of jokingly that 300 wins mean I have been around a while,” said Behnke, who is entering his 15th season as the head coach of the Chieftains. “The real reason is the girls who have played for me. It has to do with the talent and the teams I have had. This is another one of those teams that can continue on with that hopefully. It is more them than me I can tell you that.”

In the opening game, Dowagiac exploded for five runs thanks mainly to a grand slam by Makenna Gaideski.

The Chieftains added six more runs in the second inning, highlighted by a home run by Amiyah Smith.

Dowagiac finished the game with 11 hits, including doubles by Jessie Hulett, Madison Potter and Maddie Stockwell.

Cassopolis’ lone hit was a home run by Maile Barber.

Hulett picked up the victory, while Olivia Purlee took the loss for Cassopolis.

In the nightcap, Dowagiac scored four runs in the second to snap a 2-2 tie and take the lead for good.

The Chieftains added three runs in the third to turn the game into a rout.

“I was a little concerned about our hitting with the old gym worked on,” Behnke said. “We have just been hitting off tees and pop up nets. Our first live hitting was against Hartford last week in the scrimmage.

But we came out today and hit two home runs right off the bat. We hit a lot of balls hard. I was impressed with that.”

Cassopolis made a run at Dowagiac in the top-half of the seventh inning with three runs before Smith was able to shut down the Ranger rally.

Dowagiac had 15 hits in the nightcap, including a triple by Anna Dobberstein.

Caitlyn Steensma doubled for Cassopolis, which finished with six hits.

Sierra Carpter started and picked up the win for the Chieftains. Purlee suffered the loss for the Rangers.

Buchanan at Lawrence

The Bucks kicked off their season with a pair of wins over host Lawrence Monday afternoon.

Buchanan defeated the Tigers 15-2 and 15-0.

The Bucks had 12 hits in the opening game, including triples by Abby Hickock and Kaitlyn Lukkarila. Chloe Spitz had a pair of doubles, while Brooke Atkinson also doubled.

Sophie Lozmack tossed a no-hitter for the Bucks.

In the nightcap, Buchanan had 17 hits, highlighted by doubles and triples from Alea Fisher and Hickock.

Emma Lozmack, Sophie Lozmack, Lukkarila and Tali Suloff also doubled. Suloff finished with a pair.

Spitz tossed a two-hitter for the victory.

Buchanan returns to action today when it hosts Hartford.