Dowagiac Middle School goes undefeated

Published 6:26 pm Monday, May 23, 2022

DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Middle School softball team will remember its inaugural season with fond memories.

The Chieftains were 14-0 this season after defeating Mendon 14-2 and 14-4 last Monday.

Dowagiac used a potent offense and solid pitching to fashion the perfect season. The Chieftains outscored their opponents 231-13.

The team was coached by Mike Behnke, who is also the Dowagiac varsity softball coach, and Bailey Green.

“We didn’t know what to expect from our middle school program being the first year, but man were they fun to watch,” Behnke said. “They played well in all aspects of the game. They hit well, played great defense and pitched well. The future of Dowagiac softball looks bright.”

Green agreed with Behnke.

“Being my first year coaching in Dowagiac, I didn’t know what to expect from this group of girls,” Green said. “What I can say after the season is over is this is a great group of girls, who are dominant on the field in all aspects. It was a lot of fun coaching and watching them come together as a team. I look forward to seeing what these girls will do in high school.”

As a team, the Chieftains hit .534 with a slugging percentage of .841. Dowagiac banged out 23 doubles, nine triples and 10 home runs.

Charleigh Reed led Dowagiac in battle average at .733 as she had a pair of home runs and 12 RBIs. Marlie Carpenter hit .682 with three triples, four home runs and 25 RBIs. She also scored 30 runs.

Cassidy Ruiz hit .667, while Claire Hess and Emily Henry both hit .632. Ruiz drove in 17 runs and Henry 15.

In all, nine players hit better than .600 this season. Besides Carpenter, Bree Behnke scored 24 runs and Reed 20. Liv McIntosh finished with 17 runs scored.

In the circle, Addie Wilson was 8-0 with an ERA of .700. She struck out 72 batters in 30 innings pitched. Ruiz and Henry were both 3-0 with ERAs of 2.800 and .000, respectively. Henry struck out 25 in nine innings pitched, while Ruiz struck out 10. The three pitchers combined for 107 strikeouts and just 24 walks.

Dowagiac was also stellar defensively as it only had six errors in 14 games.