Niles softball splits with Portage Northern in Monday doubleheader
NILES — Monday’s doubleheader against the Portage Northern was a rollercoaster ride for the Niles softball team.
The Vikings pulled off a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Huskies in game one before falling 17-3 in game two.
“We played really well in the first game,” said Niles coach Dale Myer. “That first game was probably our best game of the year— great pitching, great hitting and great defense. We’re just lacking in pitching right now, and that second game showed. Portage Northern is a really good team; they’re loaded with pitching and we struggled.”
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh in game one, Alexis Rauch hit a walk-off single off the fence to score the game-tying and game-winning runs for the Vikings. She had two hits and three RBIs in the game and Bailey Bickel added two hits. Pitcher Mya Syson struck out six batters while surrendering three earned runs.
“Mya was hitting her spots,” Myer said. “We had some really key defensive plays, and she pitched really efficiently. We had some really key hits, especially right there in the last inning with that electric hit by Alexis.
The Huskies responded in the second half by scoring 17 unanswered points before the Vikings scored three in the fifth inning. Taylor Young had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Vikings. Chloe Hargreaves picked up the loss on the mound by giving up right earned runs and five hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
“Overall, I’m proud of the girls. We gained a split in this series, and we got a heavy schedule this week. We just have to push through. We have some injuries now so we just have to do what we can do.”
The split moves the Vikings to 9-6 on the season. Niles faces Three Rivers on Tuesday and Lakeshore on Wednesday.
“We are making strides, but we still have a long way to go,” Myer said. “There are some little things we still are not doing right yet at the varsity level, and it’s hurting us. We’re coming along, but we’re still behind.”
Niles 200 1002 – 5 7 1
P Northern 100 0111 – 4 8 1
Mya Syson (W)
P Northern 023 48 – 17 11 0
Niles 000 03 3 5 5 – 3 5 5
Hargreaves (L) and Syson
3B Taylor Young (N)
2B: Tafoya (PN), Wisaw (PN)
Record: Niles 9-6
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