Dowagiac falls to Paw Paw in Chieftain Invitational title game

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

DOWGIAC — The Dowagiac softball team bounced back from being swept by Buchanan to go 2-1 at its own Chieftain Invitational Saturday.

The Chieftains (2-3) blanked Cassopolis 13-1 in the opening game of the tournament, while they rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the sixth inning to edge Kalamazoo Central 5-4. Dowagiac was defeated in the championship game by former Wolverine Conference foe Paw Paw 8-5.

“We played much better today than Tuesday,” said Dowagiac Coach Mike Behnke. “Rebecca [Guernsey] and Addie [Wilson] continue to pitch well and we had some better at bats. The comeback against K-Central was amazing. To score three runs to tie with two outs and nobody on was awesome. And then to win it on a bunt was even better.”

Against the Maroon Giants, with two outs, Guernsey drew a walk and came around to score when Aubrey Busby singled and scored when the throw to the plate was too late. A wild pitch moved Busby to third. Marlie Carpenter drew a walk and stole second, which allowed Busby and her to score on a throwing error to tie the score at 4-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, using the International Tiebreaker as the 90-minute time limit had been reached, Wilson was placed at second base with no outs. Following a strikeout, E Parker laid down a sacrifice bunt. Wilson came around to score the winning run as Kalamazoo Central threw out Parker at first.

Guernsey picked up the victory in the circle for the Chieftains. Dowagiac had just four hits. Carpenter and Busby both doubled.

In the win over Cassopolis, Wilson picked up the victory.

The Chieftains had 11 hits, led by Busby, who had a double and a home run. Carpenter had a pair of doubles, while Guernsey and Wilson also doubled.

In the finals, Paw Paw used a six-run fifth inning to turn a 5-2 deficit into victory.

The Chieftains had 10 hits against the Red Wolves, led by Elrod, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Busby added a double.

“We didn’t come out mentally ready against Paw Paw in the championship and made a lot of easy errors,” Behnke said. “We made a lot more harder plays today, but have to make the easy plays to win games against good teams. That’s what we will work on next week.”

Niles went 1-2, defeating Watervliet 11-6 in the opening game before falling to Paw Paw 8-6 and Kalamazoo Central 13-12.

Against the Panthers, Niles’ Kayla Kiggins had quite the day at the plate as she was 4-for-4 with two doubles and two home runs. She also drove in nine runs.

The Vikings also got a home run from Coveney Davidson and a double from Ashlynn Wilkens.

Haylea Wilken earned the victory.

Against the Red Wolves, Niles had eight hits, led by Kiggins with a home run, a double and three RBI. Oliva Johnson took the loss.

The Vikings and Maroon Giants traded leads in its slugfest. Kalamazoo Central scored a run in the 10th to picked up the win.

Niles finished with 18 hits. Emerson Garrard had a pair of doubles, while Mckenna Albright, Kiggins and Davidson also doubled.