Rangers open season with wins over Beavers

Published 11:50 am Friday, March 29, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

CASSOPOLIS — Sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 40s greeted the Cassopolis baseball and softball teams as the Rangers opened their respective seasons with a home non-league doubleheader against Eau Claire Thursday.

On the baseball diamond, Cassopolis swept Eau Claire pounding the visitors 30-0 in the opener and earning an 8-5 win in the nightcap.

The first game was called one the 15-run mercy rule with one out in the bottom of the second inning, while game two was halted in the fifth due to darkness.

“Our pitchers did a real nice job for us tonight. Offensively we did a lot of good things in the batter’s box, and we were effective when we got on base,” said Cassopolis coach Nic Davis.

“We did watch a few called third strikes go by us but for the most part we did a nice job putting the ball in play and moving runners into scoring position. We have four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and a couple freshmen. We have to get better at knowing our situations, especially on the bases. We’re missing a lot of signs, but its early and these guys will improve.”

In the opener, Cassopolis erupted for 20 runs in the first inning after sending 26 hitters to the plate. The Rangers added 10 more runs in the second frame.

Cassopolis benefitted from nine bases on balls in the opener, along with five batters hit by pitches.

Malachi Ward, Devyn Garcia scored four runs for the Rangers, Ethan Pflug, Gavin Anderson, Trystan Grant, Lane Leach and Lucas Williams all rounded the bases three times. Spencer Wagoner and Aiden McGrew added two runs apiece.

Anderson had four hits for Cassopolis, while Garcia and Williams addded three apiece. Ward and McGrew collected two each, while Pflug, Wagoner, Grant and Leach all had one.

The Rangers’ pitching staff struck out five Eau Claire hitters and walked one.

In game two, Cassopolis scored once in the first, added six in the second and one in the fourth frame.

Eau Claire scratched out four runs in the first and its final run in the second.

Cassopolis’ pitching gave up three walks and had one strikeout.

Garcia and Pflug collected two hits each for the Rangers, while Ward and Wagoner both singled.


Rangers softball earns split

On the softball diamond, Cassopolis pulled to a big early lead and hung on for an 8-4 win in game one before dropping the nightcap 13-3 to Eau Claire in five innings.

“Our team is really young and right now we’re still in the learning process. We’ve got five girls who haven’t ever played softball at this level before. I was pleased with our hitting in that first game especially,” said Cassopolis head coach DeShaun Curtis.

“We didn’t come back to the field very focused after the first game. Our softball IQ needs to improve, and we have to get back to the grind after Spring Break.”

In the opener, Cassopolis scored three runs in the first and third innings before pushing its final two runs across the plate in the fifth frame.

Eau Claire tallied three runs in the fourth and its final one in the fifth.

Mackenzie Boyer twirled all seven innings inside the circle in recording the win for Cassopolis. Boyer allowed 12 hits, four earned runs, struck out nine and walked one batter.

Atyanna Alford doubled and tripled, had three RBI and scored twice for Cassopolis. Leaysheneau Willis socked a two-run homer and scored once for the Rangers.  Ryley Bowsher belted two hits, including a double and scored twice. Boyer doubled, singled, had two RBI and scored twice. Janayla Franklin laced a single and scored once.

Cassopolis was hindered defensively in the nightcap with six errors.

Eau Claire’s batting order came alive with the Beavers outhitting Cassopolis 20-10.

Boyer cranked out three hits and scored twice for the Rangers. Sienna Young and Jamya Hart posted two hits each, while Alford, Franklin and Willis added one hit apiece.

Franklin’s triple and a double from Alford were the only extra-base hits for Cassopolis.

Bowsher, Alford and Young all had RBIs for the Rangers.

Boyer also had three stolen bases for the Rangers.

Cassopolis scored two runs in the third and added one run in the fifth.

Eau Claire scored three times in the first and second, four times in the third and added its final three markers in the fifth.

Boyer started on the mound and suffered the loss yielding 10 hits, six earned runs with two strikeouts. Franklin relieved Boyer in the third and gave up 10 hits, four-earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts.