Softball Swept by Alma Friday Afternoon
Friday, April 24, 2009
By Chaz Amidon
GRAND RAPIDS—Coach Emily Bustrum hoped that two non-conference wins last Saturday would jumpstart the Knights during their last week of league action.
The Knights frittered away an early 2-0 advantage in Game Two against Alma—their only lead of the day—and the third-place Scots swept Calvin 4-0 and 10-2 at Gainey Field on Friday afternoon.
“We weren’t able to string some hits together and make the plays that were needed,” said Bustrum. “We played a couple great innings of ball, held them tight. We just couldn’t get the runs we needed.”
Regardless of what happens in tomorrow’s league finale against Olivet, Calvin (4-27, 0-12) will finish the 2009 season in last place. The Knights were handed a pair of pivotal losses by seventh-place Albion (12-20, 3-11) on Wednesday, which ruled out their chances of ascending in the conference standings.
Calvin has now lost 19 of its last 21 and will miss the MIAA Tournament for the fourth straight year.
“We are not a bad team,” said freshman Marie Prins (Hudsonville/Unity Christian). “We just have not been able to win.”
Whisper Miller (Hersey/Reed City) scored on an infield error and Mallissa VanRooyen (Beamsville, ON/Smithville Christian) laid down a sac bunt RBI to give the Knights a 2-0 lead in the second inning of Game Two.
One inning later, the Scots uncorked five runs—four of which were unearned—on Kristin Folkerts (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian), who was saddled with both losses on Friday. Alma went on to score four runs in the sixth, inducing the eight-run mercy rule and ending the contest one inning early.
Knights’ batters combined for just two hits in Game Two, compared to a five-hit performance in the opener. They also stranded eight runners throughout the afternoon.
“It’s so important when runners are on to execute in the batter’s box,” said Prins. “We need to get them in.”
Folkerts (4-18) allowed only two earned runs in Game One, where Alma used three infield singles to pull ahead, 4-0, in the fifth inning. Prins, who went 2-for-3 in the first contest, lined a single to centerfield and Loren Scarbrough (Antioch, IL/Antioch Community) reached first on a slow grounder. But the Scots’ Tara Leddy (11-3) fanned two straight batters, and the Knights abandoned two crucial runs on base.
Leddy pitched a complete game shutout, recording 10 strikeouts while issuing only one walk.
Alma’s Brittany Grys (9-5) picked up the win on the mound in Game Two. She compiled five strikeouts and allowed just two singles—one to Jenn Vanden Akker (Grand Rapids/Grand Rapids Christian, and other to Jacqueline Kirkman (Oregon, OH/Oregon). Both of Calvin’s runs were unearned.
The Knights will wrap up their MIAA season tomorrow against sixth-place Olivet (19-11, 3-9) at Gainey Field. Game One is slated to start at 1:00 p.m.
“For the ladies, for the incoming freshmen next year, for the new recruits, for the program itself, to come up with two wins at the end of the season is big,” said Bustrum. “We will never quit. Until the season is done we will give 100 percent, leave it all on the field.”