Zache home runs push Eddies past Dowagiac

Published 2:04 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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DOWAGIAC — A pair of swings by Ella Zache led visiting Edwardsburg to a 6-3 win over Dowagiac Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 Softball Tournament quarterfinals Tuesday.

Zache hit a pair of home runs and drove in five of the six runs for the Eddies.

Her first home run, a three-run shot, erased a 1-0 Chieftains’ lead in the top-half of the third inning.

Dowagiac rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to tie the score at 3-3.

Edwardsburg (23-11) took a 4-3 lead with a single run in the top of the fourth, and then sealed the victory when Zache hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning.

“Dowagiac is a solid team, they had won 18 in a row, so they are a solid team,” said Edwardsburg Coach Todd Tighe. “They are kind of young like we are, so I think are two programs going into the future that will be competing first titles.”

Tighe said his team was able advance thanks to its offense.

“The difference in the game was the two home runs by Ella Zache,” he said. “She drove in five of our six runs. But both teams played pretty solid.”

The Eddies banged out 11 hits in the contest. Besides Zache’s long balls, Edwardsburg also got doubles from Brynn Young and Julia Matthews. Matthew’s double ended up being the game-winning hit.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Young singled and then came around to score on Matthew’s double.

The Chieftains (25-8) got on the board first when Bree Behnke doubled and scored on a double by Claire Hess.

Edwardsburg took the lead in its half of the third inning when Young singled, Kendal Hulett followed with a single and Zache homered down the leftfield line.

Dowagiac came right back in the bottom-half of the third to tie the game.

C Reed singled, Olivia McIntosh doubled and Reed scored on a passed ball. The Chieftains scored the tying run on a passed ball as well.

Victoria Pulling went the distance to earn the win for Edwardsburg as she tossed a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts.

Rebecca Guernsey suffered the loss for Dowagiac.

“Obviously, the season didn’t end the way we wanted,” said Dowagiac Coach Mike Behnke. “We knew we had to do all the little things to beat Edwardsburg and we missed some pitches and some plays. All in all, I’m and very proud of this team. We accomplished many things this year and are only losing two seniors. We have work to do but the future of Dowagiac softball is looking bright.”

The Eddies advance to face Wolverine Conference foe Sturgis in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday. This will be the third meeting between Edwardsburg and the Trojans.

The Eddies swept Sturgis 12-0 and 20-1.

Tighe said his team will not look back at those games, but focus on the here and now.

“I think we go into this like any other game,” he said. “We have done this all year. Our goal is one game at a time, one inning and one pitch. We don’t look ahead.”

In the second semifinal, Niles will face Wolverine Conference foe at noon. The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m.