STANTON — The Central Montcalm Hornets are primed to have an outstanding season on the diamond.
On Wednesday, a young Greenville Yellow Jackets team witnessed what the Hornets have to offer this season as they were swept 15-0 (in three innings) and 7-0.
“They are very, very good. (Central coach Bruce Nicholson) has been coaching those girls for a long time, even their youngsters,” Greenville coach Tom Hallock said. “He has done a great job with them. They are very disciplined and I think he does a terrific job coaching.”
Kenzie Rutz led the Hornets’ offensive attack with a two-run double in game one and her second home run of the season in game two.
“She is seeing it pretty good right now,” Nicholson said of Rutz. “She is hitting the ball hard out of the gate. That’s good. We just want to keep her healthy back there.”
Game one was scoreless after the first inning. The second inning was another story.
Central Montcalm sent 18 batters to the plate before recording their first out, which was a sacrifice fly by Rutz. The Hornets tallied 15 runs in the second inning.
“I didn’t know how we would be after playing last night (Monday vs. Saranac). To come back and hit the way we did was great. That was a good start for us,” Nicholson said. “We’ve never done that before (bat around twice). That was a good inning for us and we finished it good.”
Central Montcalm had 11 hits in the second inning.
In addition to the sacrifice fly, Rutz had a two-run double. Courtnee Nicholson had two hits and two RBI, Caitlin Ferguson had two hits — one a triple — and two RBIs. Ashley Merritt had two hits and one RBI in the inning.
Mallory Morgan faced the minimum nine batters in the game. She did not allow a hit, struck out five and walked one for the win.
“Mal pitched well, which she usually does, and she keeps us in it,” Nicholson said.
Emily Schnepp took the game one loss for Greenville. Adrienne Chaney also pitched in the first game.
“Our girls, we’re young and inexperienced. That inexperience showed, especially in the first game,” Hallock said. “The second game, I thought we did some good things and hung in and gave ourselves some opportunities.”
Game two was a different story.
Chaney started and kept the Hornets in check by allowing just two runs in the first four innings, one of those runs was unearned.
“We started a little slow. Maybe we just let down a little bit,” Nicholson said. “We talked about it at 2-0. I told them we had to get going. We had the top of the order up and gave ourselves a little cushion.”
Greenville struggle offensively for the first four innings with no hits and eight strikeouts against sophomore Lilly Doyle.
In the fifth inning, the Hornets scored four runs, all unearned, to open up a 6-0 lead after four innings.
“We threw the ball to the wrong base and missed a cut-off,” Hallock said. “But those things are fixable. We’ll be alright.”
The Yellow Jackets responded with three hits in the next two innings, but left five runners stranded on base.
Rutz’s home run in the seventh inning finished the scoring for the Hornets.
Doyle earned her first varsity win. She pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowed one hit with nine strikeouts and no runs. Morgan finished out the final 2 2/3 innings.
“She pitched well and she pitched well last night (Monday),” Nicholson said of Doyle. “We brought Mal back in since she didn’t throw too many pitches (in the first game). It was nice for her to get the save for Lilly. She (Lilly) is going to do a good job for us.”
Emaleigh Taylor had two hits in game two. Rutz scored three runs and Laura McCallum had a RBI-single.
Hayden Johnson had a double for Greenville, while Makenzie Larsen and Megan Brand had hits.
“Overall, I’m happy. I think we grew. I think we got better as a team,” Hallock said. “With all the youngsters we have, I think it’s going to be OK.”
Greenville (0-2) will play a single game at home today against Comstock Park.
Central Montcalm (3-1) will play at the Morley Stanwood Invitational on Saturday.