LAKEVIEW — The third inning of game two was the difference for the Belding Redskins in an otherwise close matchup on the softball diamond with the Lakeview Wildcats.
The Redskins exploded with six hits and eight runs to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the third inning and went on to defeat the Wildcats 11-3 in game two. Game one was a pitchers duel that went to the Redskins 1-0.
“We got hot in the third inning,” Belding coach Mikayla Linebaugh said. “We some solid hits. We just seemed more relaxed and the kids had more fun. The first game was kind of tight.”
Beldings’s Rachel Hunt walked and Hannah Linebaugh reached on a fielders choice to start the third inning. That was followed by four consecutive hits, the big blast a three-run double by Mariah Heintzelman. Makalya Boss also drove in two runs in the third with a single.
“It was nice to get that big lead early and then relax a little bit,” Linebaugh said.
Sadie Massie started for the Wildcats, but was relieved with no outs in the third inning. She finished with the loss. Game one starter Erin Vanderzand closed out the game.
“She just got the ball up to high,” Johnson said of Massie. “She has to keep it down more to be effective. ”
Vanderzand pitched the final five innings, allowing five hits and two runs with two strikeouts.
“Erin pitched well in the first and second games. She was a little cold when she came in during the second game,” Johnson said. “She did an awesome job against a good hitting team.”
On the other side, Morgan Hill pitched solid all game. She had eight strikeouts and allowed three runs.
Lakeview scored on an RBI single by Liz Nielsen to take a 1-0 lead. Belding tied the game in the second with an RBI by Boss.
Each team scored twice in the sixth inning.
Mindy Reminga drove in two runs in the top half of the inning for the Redskins, while Vanderzand brought two home with a single in the bottom half to avoid a mercy.
Heintzelman and Boss each had three RBIs for the Redskins. Reminga had three hits and two RBIs.
“Her bat has been hot lately,’ Linebaugh said of Reminga. “She is coming on really well. She is doing a lot better on the basepaths too.”
Kyleigh Linebaugh earned the win in game one. She finished with 14 strikeouts. Overall, the Wildcats struck out 22 times in two games.
“Kyleigh is more of a low-ball pitcher. She works the changeup a little bit more,” Linebaugh said. “Morgan likes to work with the rise. They are both very good ballplayers and I’m excited they are both going on to play at the next level.”
Belding improved to 22-10 overall. They will face Tri County on May 31.
Lakeview fell to 16-15 and will travel to Greenville next Wednesday.