Dowagiac, Niles 2-1 at Chieftain softball tourney
DOWAGIAC — Both Niles and host Dowagiac were 2-1 at the Chieftain Invitational Softball Tournament on Saturday.
The Chieftains dropped their opening game to Hartford 6-1, but rebounded to defeat Kalamazoo Central 7-6 and previously undefeated Berrien Springs 10-3.
Niles lost its opener to Bridgman 8-5, but rallied to edge Paw Paw 10-9 and beat Watervliet 15-10.
Dowagiac is now 4-1 on the season, while Niles is 4-3.
“Our day started on a sour note but ended well with two victories,” said Dowagiac Coach Mike Behnke. “Against Hartford, we just didn’t have good at-bats with runners on base. We had multiple runners on base in every inning except the seventh and just couldn’t score. Against Kalamazoo Central, we put balls in play, and they made mistakes that we took advantage of, and we really fought hard to walk off with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. The bottom of our order came through with Riley Mott singling to get us started, and then the top of the order did their job.”
Behnke said his team took advantage of a short-handed Shamrock squad.
“Against Berrien, we did what we should have against their backup pitchers,” he said. “We hit them hard, scored early and put pressure on them with runners on the basepaths the whole game. I was most proud of our defense on the day. Calley Ruff made at least three amazing plays diving for balls and getting outs, and the rest of the team was diving and giving great effort on tough plays and making the routine plays.”
Against Hartford, Dowagiac finished with eight hits, including a double and triple by freshman Aubrey Busby. Kimi Beattie and Caleigh Wimberley added doubles.
Jessie Hulett suffered the loss.
The Chieftains collected seven hits against the Maroon Giants, including triples by Ruff and Anna Dobberstein, and doubles from Wimberley and Busby. Sierra Carpenter picked up the win.
Dowagiac exploded for 13 hits against Berrien Springs. Busby had a double and a home run, while Beattie, Dobberstein and Wimberly all added doubles.
Carpenter picked up the win in relief.
Taylor Young and Alexis Rauch both doubled, as Niles banged out seven hits in its opening game against Berrien Springs. Liv Johnson took the loss.
Against the Panthers, Niles had 17 hits, including a double and a home run by Rauch and doubles by Hannah Northcutt and Ashlynn Wilken. Johnson was the winning pitcher.
Niles had 14 hits against the Red Wolves.
Rauch had a double for the Vikings. Johnson earned the win in relief.
HARTFORD 6, DOWAGIAC 1
Hartford 000 000 6 – 6 8 0
Dowagiac 010 000 0 – 1 8 0
Karly Manning (W); Jessie Hulett (L)
2B: Kaeyln Johnson (H), Descenya Rodarte (H), L. Price (H); Kimi Beattie (D), Caleigh Wimberley (D), Aubrey Busby (D)
DOWAGIAC 7, KALAMAZOO CENTRAL 6
Central 000 330 0 – 6 8 4
Dowagiac 011 010 4 – 7 9 1
Miller (L); Sierra Carpenter (W)
2B: Nizzardini (KC), Miller (KC), VanDum (KC), Crocker (KC), Caleigh Wimberley (D), Aubrey Busby (D)
3B: VanDum (KC), Calley Ruff (D), Anna Dobberstein (D)
HR: VanDum (KC)
DOWAGIAC 10, BERRIEN SPRINGS 3
DOWAGIAC 202 132 – 10 13 2
BERRIEN 000 300 – 3 7 3
Olivia Elliott, M. Mervine (L,2), R. Molden (5); Jessie Hulett, Sierra Carpenter (W,4)
2B: M. Coulston (BS), Kimi Beattie (D), Anna Dobberstein (D), Caleigh Wimberley (D), Aubrey Busby (D)
HR: Busby (D)
Varsity record: Dowagiac 4-1
NILES 10, PAW PAW 9
Niles 206 110 – 10 14 0
Paw Paw 072 000 – 9 14 1
Hannah Hollingsworth, Liv Johnson (W,5); Alana Burch, Macy Haase (1), Hannah Mellinger (L,4)
2B: Alexis Rauch (N), Raelynn DeGroff (PP)
HR: Haase (PP), Maddison Wilder (PP)
NILES 16, WATERVLIET 10
Niles 003 040 9 – 15 17 2
Watervliet 000 703 0 – 10 11 2
Haiden Edelberg (L); Liv Johnson (W)
2B: Abby Whorton (W), Grace Chisek (W), Hannah Northcutt (N), Alexis Rauch (N), Ashlynn Wilken (N) 2
3B: Addy Riley (W)
HR: Chisek (W), Rauch (N)
BRIDGMAN 9, NILES 5
Bridgman 305 000 – 8 11 1
Niles 020 300 – 5 7 3
Natalie McNeil (W); Liv Johnson (L)
2B: Arie Hackett (BR), Elise Schmaltz (BR), Taylor Young (N), Alexis Rauch (N)
3B: Hackett (BR)
Varsity record: Niles 4-3
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