Softball Sweeps Kalamazoo in MIAA Twinbill
Saturday, April 14, 2012
By Mark DeHaan
Coming off a pair of wins against non-conference opponent Trinity Christian College, the Knights were looking to keep their momentum rolling against Kalamazoo College as they hosted the Hornets on an overcast Saturday afternoon. Calvin kept the momentum rolling, sweeping the Hornets, winning by scores of 10-1 and 9-0.
After a quick 1-2-3 inning in game one from the Calvin defense, the Knights offense got off to a roaring start in the bottom of the first. Freshman Christie VanderMeer led off the game with a triple for the Knights. Up next, freshman Merin Cok hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in VanderMeer. Seior Marie Prins and sophomore Lina Avila then walked for Calvin before a single by freshman Catherine Hilbrands loaded the bases. Up next for Calvin was junior Hannah DeWeerd. DeWeerd, struggling on the year from the plate, hit the first ball she saw over the left fence for a grand slam to give Calvin the 5-0 lead. The Knights left the first inning with the 5-0 lead.
In the second, Calvin added another run as VanderMeer led off with another triple, her second of the game. Cok added another RBI as a single up the middle brought in VanderMeer.
Avila, pitching for Calvin, did not give up her first hit of the game until the fourth inning, when Kalamazoo’s Querubin Dubois led off with a double. Dubois was brought in on a double by the next hitter as the Hornets cut the deficit to 5-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Calvin responded with a run as a pair of doubles, first by Prins, then by Avila, brought in Prins to score.
Calvin added a run in the fifth on an RBI double by freshman Trista Brownlee to push their advantage to 8-1.
Looking for the mercy rule win, Avila came up to bat in the bottom of the sixth with Prins on first. Avila hit the first pitch over the right center field fence for the walk-off home run, giving Calvin the 10-1 victory. The home run was her eighth of the season.
Avila earned the win in the circle for Calvin, allowing just three hits, striking out three and giving up only one run.
Leading Calvin on offense was DeWeerd, who went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Avila also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, three RBI, and a home run. Merin Cok added two RBI for Calvin while VanderMeer was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
In the second game, both teams were scoreless before Calvin grabbed a run in the third inning off an RBI double by Avila that brought in Cok.
In the fourth, the Knights added three more runs, all with two outs, to extend their lead to 4-0.
Two more runs in the fifth inning, both on a two-run RBI double down the left field line by Brownlee, pushed the Calvin advantage to 6-0.
Meanwhile, in the circle, Brownlee was pitching a nearly flawless game. Brownlee did not give up her first hit until the fourth inning, and through five innings of worked, had only faced the minimum amount of batters as two inning-ending double plays helped her cause.
In the top of the sixth, a Prins home run to left field started off the scoring before the Hornets pitching got wild. Calvin brought in two more runs in the sixth to take the 9-0 lead.
Calvin then got three quick outs in the bottom of the sixth, earning the 9-0 victory and their second mercy-rule win of the afternoon.
In the circle, Brownlee allowed two hits, gave up one walk and struck out four while only facing one batter over the minimum through six innings.
On offense, Hilbrands led the Knights at 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Prins went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Cok also went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
“Four wins in a row is huge. It’s great for our confidence,” said Head Coach Sharon DeKleine. “We played great defense, we made plays when we had to and we hit the ball well.”
The Calvin sweep moves its record to 9-15 overall and 2-4 in MIAA play. The Hornets drop to 2-20 and 1-9 in conference. Calvin is next in action on Tuesday when they will travel to Olivet to play the Comets with the doubleheader starting at 3:30 pm.