GREENVILLE — The Central Montcalm Hornets girls softball team came out swinging.
The Hornets saw its first four batters reach base and scored three times in the first inning of an 8-3 win at Greenville on Wednesday.
The Hornets — after losing their first two games of the season — have won four straight after taking two from the Yellow Jackets.
“We needed to do that. We’ve been struggling to score early, so that was nice to get ahead,” Central Montcalm coach Bruce Nicholson said. “We gave Scylar (Blaisdell) some lead to pitch with, so that was nice.”
Makayla Studley, Courtnee Nicholson and Blaisdell opened the game with three consecutive singles. All three scored, one run on Blaisdell’s single and two others on a couple of Greenville errors.
“We had some errors in the first inning and we got down early,” Greenville coach Morgan Martin said. “We had to play catch-up the whole game.”
Central Montcalm tacked on a run in the second and fourth innings, both on hits by Studley, to open a 5-0 advantage.
Greenville scored its first run in the bottom of fourth inning when Elizabeth Niemiec scored from third on an error, with two outs.
“We put the bat on the ball, and one positive was we limited the strikeouts,” Martin said. “We’ve been working on that, but we just couldn’t get anything to fall in.”
The Hornets added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to open a 7-1 lead. Greenville responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to keep the game close at 7-3.
“Our defense was solid tonight. Makayla had a couple of nice plays in the hole at shortstop,” Nicholson said. “We took care of the ball pretty good and Kenzie (Rutz) had a nice game behind the plate. We are getting a bit cleaner on defense.”
Rutz added an insurance run with a single in the seventh that scored Maddie Christensen.
Blaisdell earned the win in seven innings of work. She allowed six hits, three runs, one earned with four strikeouts.
“Scylar is really good. I think she was around 80 pitches for a complete game,” Nicholson said. “She pitched a complete game last night (Tuesday) with a shut out into the seventh inning. She has been really consistent, really calm on the mound, great kid and great pitcher.”
Sarah Newhouse suffered the loss for Greenville. In six innings, she allowed nine hits, eight runs, six earned with two strikeouts.
“Our defense needs to step up and limit our errors,” Martin said. “We did make some nice plays, but we still had too many errors defensively.”
Haydon Johnson and Newhouse each had two hits. Taylor Hansen and Elizabeth Niemiec each had one hit.
Studley led the Hornets with three hits and two RBIs.
“It was a good game for us. I thought we were going to be tired after playing on Tuesday,” Nicholson said. “We seemed tired on the way over, but we had that good start. Greenville is a good hitting team. To keep the top of the order contained is a good thing for us.”
Game 2: CM 14, Greenville 3 (6 innings)
Central Montcalm knocked out 12 hits in a second-game mercy at Greenville.
The Hornets scored three times in the second inning, four times in the fourth, four times in the fifth and three times in the sixth for a six inning win.
Emaleigh Taylor had a triple, home run and three RBIs. Studley had three hits and two RBIs, while Nicholson, Christensen and Rutz each had two hits. Nicholson also had three RBIs.
Mallory Morgan earned the win, allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts.
Emily Schnepp and Hansen had hits for Greenville, which scored twice in the third inning.
Schnepp suffered the loss, allowing 11 runs and nine hits in four innings. Newhouse pitched the final two innings and allowed three runs.
Greenville (3-3) will travel to the Comstock Park Tournament on Saturday, while Central Montcalm (4-2) is at the Cedar Springs Tournament the same day.