LAKEVIEW — The Central Montcalm Hornets picked up a couple of Central State Activities Association games on Tuesday.
The Hornets had to rally in game one for a 7-3 victory over rival Lakeview, while game two was a bit easier with a 16-1 four inning mercy.
In game one, after a slow start for both teams offensively, the Hornets scored six times in the final two innings to defeat the Wildcats. Lakeview carried a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning.
“We had a slow start. We hadn’t played in a week and it showed with the bats,” Central coach Bruce Nicholson said. “Justice (Rummel) was keeping us off balance, but we kept battling and got a couple of breaks. We ran the bases well and Scylar (Blaisdell) never lost her composure and kept us in it.”
Neither team had a hit in the first two innings, while Central Montcalm had the only baserunner through two innings.
Central’s Makayla Studley scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning. Studley had a bunt single and later scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 Hornet advantage.
Lakeview responded with three runs in the bottom half of the third inning.
Miranda Lake doubled and reached third base on an error. Kelsee Rossett knocked Lake in with a groundout to second base. Lakeview connected on three consecutive hits with Estelle Molitor knocking in Alex Lake on a double and Kirsten Johnson knocking in Molitor with a single for a 3-1 lead.
“The first five innings we played with a lot of confidence,” Lakeview coach Daryl Johnson said. “We played with a lot of enthusiasm, but when they caught up we lost our fire. We just let the mistakes get to us and lost the emotion we had. We couldn’t pull ourselves out of that hole.”
Lakeview added three hits in the fourth and fifth innings, but failed to score. Central Montcalm was stymied by Rummel for no hits in the fourth and fifth innings. The Hornets did threaten with a few walks, but could not score.
In the sixth inning, Central Montcalm started to come to life.
Emaleigh Taylor and Saydee Rowland both singled and scored for the Hornets. Taylor scored on a wild pitch, while Rowland, on third base, got caught in a rundown and scored when the throw to the plate hit her in the back to tie the game 3-3.
Central Montcalm had the chance to take the lead, but Hannah Hollenbeck was thrown out at the plate in the same inning.
“We got a little bit of confidence after the sixth inning.It kind of broke the ice for us,” Nicholson said. “Then we started bunting the ball and running the bases and not having to hit the ball in the gap. That’s not how we play. We usually hit the ball in the gap, but we had to go to that and they responded.”
Lakeview went down in order in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, Central scored four times to take a commanding lead. Three singles and an error led to the four runs and the win.
“We forced them to make a play and they threw the ball around a little,” Nicholson said. “It was good for us. You could tell we hadn’t played in a week. We were rusty at the plate.”
Lakeview, again, went down in order in the final inning
“We tacked the ball pretty good the first few innings and then we got on our heels and weren’t being aggressive at the plate,” Johnson said.
Rummel took the loss in seven innings of work. She allowed six hits, seven walks with eight strikeouts. Two of the seven runs were earned.
Blaisdell earned the win in seven innings. She allowed seven hits and struck out seven hitters.
“Justice pitched a great game,” Johnson said. “They started playing small ball. We lost our focus, but it wasn’t on her. Our defense kind of let her down a little bit.”
Molitor had two hits for Lakeview, while Taylor led Central with two hits.
Game two was all Central Montcalm with a 16-1 win in four innings. The Hornets scored 12 times in the second inning.
Rowland earned the win, allowing four hits with three strikeouts. Kirsten Johnson took the loss with nine hits and eight walks allowed in four innings.
Studley and Taylor had two hits each for Central Montcalm.
The Hornets improved to 11-8 (6-5 in CSAA), while Lakeview fell to 4-13-1.
Central Montcalm is at Big Rapids for a single game on Thursday, while Lakeview travels to White Cloud for a doubleheader on Friday.