Swanton’s offense scattered 11 runs over five innings for an 11-1 win over Ottawa Hills in game one on Saturday. But, in the second game of the softball doubleheader, they fell by a final of 9-7.
“We played very well game one,” said Bulldog mentor Joe Nye. “Senior Taylor Pelland hit the ball well with runners in scoring position. We also were very aggressive on the bases.”
The Bulldogs began in a hole in game one, as the Green Bears got an infield single from Audrey Rotman, and she came around to score two batters later on a ground out from Phoebe Sandberg for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Swanton failed to score in their half of the first but got their offense going in the bottom of the second.
Walks issued to Hayley McMahan and Taylor Pelland put a pair of runners on, and after a strikeout, Taylor Dohm’s infield single loaded the bases. Hannah Gombash got the Bulldogs on the board with a sharp single to plate two runs to give them the lead, 2-1.
Swanton starting pitcher Abby Lawson would set the Green Bears down in order in the third, where they then added to their lead in the bottom half of the inning.
“Abby is awesome,” said Nye of his pitcher. “She pitches every game and has a great attitude. She does not walk a lot of batters and if the defense is solid, we can be in any game.”
Olivia Williams made it 3-1 with a single to score Deanna Herr, who had singled and stole second earlier in the inning. Pelland’s RBI-double brought home another run, while another scored on a wild pitch during Karah Kohlman’s at bat to make it 5-1 Dogs after three.
In the home half of the fourth, Gombash reached on a throwing error and Lawson’s single put runners on first and second with no one out. No runs scored after a bunt attempt was easily tossed to first for an out, but Herr followed with a single to push the Bulldog advantage to 6-1.
“Deanna has played very will thus far,” explained Nye. “She uses her speed to get on base and runs the bases well. She also made some really nice plays in center.”
Williams then grounded out, but got an RBI as Lawson scored to put the Swanton lead at 7-1.
Ottawa Hills once again went 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth and the Dogs added four runs to end the game by way of the OHSAA run rule.
The Dogs tagged an unearned run, and also had RBIs from Lawson, Herr, and Williams to seal the 11-1 victory.
Lawson picked up the win in the circle while Ottawa Hills’ Sophie Summers took the loss.
In game two, Swanton held the lead on multiple occasions, but was eventually overtaken as the Bears won 9-7.
After relinquishing a 3-0 advantage and falling behind 4-3, Swanton scored three in the bottom of the fourth.
They loaded the bases as Kohlman, Dohm, and Gombash each pegged singles. Lawson hit into a fielder’s choice as Kohlman was thrown out at home. However, Haley Nelson scored Dohm with a sacrifice fly and two more runs came home on an errant throw to third to put Swanton back on top, 6-4.
The fifth was a scoreless frame for both teams, but the Bears grabbed the lead for good in the sixth. Summers led off with a single and took second on a passed ball in the top of the sixth, and after a ground out, a Bulldog error scored a run to pull the Bears within 6-5.
Joy Kim then walked, Rotman beat out a throw to first, and an errant throw to the plate scored Maya Tuff to knot the game at six. Nadine Ayad and Sandberg recorded consecutive RBI-singles, while another run scored on a passed ball which made it 9-6.
The Dogs added a run in the bottom of the seventh but that was all they could muster.
After hosting Delta today in league competition, Swanton is at Start Wednesday, Montpelier Thursday and Edgerton on Saturday.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010