Montabella loses last two before districts

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 11:27 am on Friday, May 23, 2014

Montabella’s Emily Lint fires a pitch during the first game of the teams’ doubleheader Thursday against Saranac.

BLANCHARD — Montabella’s softball team will have to find something to help them get ready for the district tournament next week.

The Mustangs didn’t find much Thursday in their final regular-season games, losing to Saranac 3-1 and 17-2.

The first game saw the Redskins (19-8) score in the first inning when Maddy Miller walked, stole second, went to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball.

Montabella (5-19) got that back in the fourth inning on a Mariah Davidson double and two Saranac errors.

But an RBI single by Josie Manion in the fifth inning and a passed ball to score Nicole Henderson in the sixth gave the Redskins the win.

“The girls played very well defensively,” Montabella coach Chara Nisonger said. “Offensively we didn’t get our bats going fast enough, soon enough.”

Emily Lint took the loss for the Mustangs despite allowing only four hits and striking out eight. She walked five.

The winning pitcher was Manion, who allowed just two hits — both to Davidson — while striking out nine without a walk.

“Wanting to swing too quickly,” Nisonger said about the lack of offense. “She (Manion) is a little bit slower pitcher and the girls (Montabella) didn’t want to slow down at all.”

Montabella’s Mariah Davidson slides into second base during Thursday’s doubleheader against Saranac.

The second game got away from the Mustangs quickly. Hanna Stockwell gave up seven runs in just one-third of an inning, allowing three hits, but walking four, including two with the bases loaded for the loss.

Saranac scored eight times in the first, eight more in the second and one in the third for a mercy-rule win.

“Defense, there was a lot of errors,” Nisonger said. “Offensively we couldn’t hit the ball, and our hearts weren’t in it at all.”

After the eight-run first, Nisonger tried to charge up her team.

“I tried to get them (Montabella) excited to want to play because they acted like they didn’t want to play,” she said. “So I tried to bring them up and be more positive because they were already thinking negative.”

The Mustangs originally avoided the mercy with two runs in the top of the third for a 16-2 score, but an RBI single by Manion in the bottom half ended the game.

Miller got the win, giving up the two runs on a Kendra Stockwell single allowed with four strikeouts.

The Mustangs are off until Tuesday, when they travel to Breckenridge to face Vestaburg. The Wolverines are ranked sixth in the state in Division 4 in the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association poll released Wednesday.

Nisonger doesn’t want her team to give up, so she said she will be working with her team on “the drive of wanting to play.”

“The mental part of it because I believe we have a good defense and a good offense,” she said. “We just have to know we can do it.”

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