Softball Sweeps Goshen - Avila Goes Deep Twice - Matches Calvin Single-Season HR Mark
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Story By Mark DeHaan/Photos by Sandy Palmatter
Facing non-conference opponent Goshen College for the third straight season, the Knights looked to break a four game losing streak against the visiting Maple Leafs. Calvin did just that, handing Goshen a 5-3 defeat in game one and then coming back for a 9-0 win in the nightcap to complete the doubleheader sweep.
After a scoreless first, Calvin got its offense started in the bottom of the second with a leadoff double from sophomore Lina Avila (Lakewood, CA/Valley Christian HS). Avila was then brought in on a RBI single by senior Marie Prins (Hudsonville/Unity Christian HS). One batter later, junior Hannah DeWeerd (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS) brought in Prins on a single to push the Calvin lead to 2-0.
In the third, Calvin extended its lead, this on a home run from Avila. Pitching for the Knights, Avila helped her own cause with a bomb over the left-center field fence with Prins on base, extending Calvin’s lead to 4-0.
The Knights added an insurance in the fourth inning as freshman Trista Brownlee (Saginaw/Saginaw Valley Lutheran HS) scored on a hit in the infield from freshman Merin Cok (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS), making the score 5-0.
Goshen would not go away without a fight however, as the Maple Leafs scored three runs in the top of the fifth on just one hit, as the Knights committed three errors, to cut Calvin’s lead to 5-3. In the sixth, Goshen had a good opportunity as they loaded the bases with two outs. The Maple Leafs batter then hit the ball deep to left center field where freshman center fielder Kelsey Pollock (Greenville/Belding HS) made the catch on the warning track to end the inning.
The Knights then closed out the win in the top of the seventh to break the losing streak, earning the 5-3 victory. Avila pitched all seven innings, moving to 7-9 on the season, allowing only four hits and striking out three. Avila went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI, while DeWeerd, freshman Nicole Weener (Zeeland/Holland Christian HS), and Cok all added one RBI each.
The Maple Leafs were led by Savannah Brinegar, who went 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Maria Koshmider took the loss for Goshen, bringing her record to 3-11.
In game two, Calvin got off to a quick start as it scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, two on a two RBI single by freshman Catherine Hilbrands (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian HS).
In the second inning, the Knights continued to build on their lead, adding two to push their advantage to 5-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Calvin put an emphatic offensive finish on its final home game of the season as Avila hit a three run shot, this to left field, to push Calvin’s lead to 9-0. Prins had a sac fly earlier in the inning to bring in Brownlee from third.
In the top of the fifth, the Knights shut down the Maple Leafs to earn the mercy rule win 9-0 and the doubleheader sweep.
Brownlee pitched all five innings, allowing only three hits and striking out seven, to earn the win and push her record to 6-10 on the season. On the offensive end, Prins, in her last home game as a senior, went 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run. Freshman Christie VanderMeer (Grandville/Grandville HS) was 2-for-2 with three runs scored while Hilbrands was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Avila was 1-for-3 with a run and RBI. With the two home runs Avila hit, she ties the Calvin record for home runs in a season originally set by Abby Konyndyk in 2005 - with 10.
It was great to win two games. We needed to come back after a couple of tough double headers last week, so it was great to come back and win two games today, said Head Coach Sharon DeKleine. I thought Trista did a really good job pitching. Lina’s hitting is just phenomenal she came out relaxed, ready to play ball today, and just showed what she could do.
Calvin moves to 13-19 overall while Goshen drops to 14-29. The Knights return to action tomorrow when they travel to Alma for a conference doubleheader, with the first pitch at 3:30 pm.