Saginaw Valley’s softball team had yet another strong week as it began league play 4-0 following two doubleheader sweeps against Lake Erie and Walsh on Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25.
All four contests were played at Walsh University.
“This is the first team I’ve had that didn’t need that kick to get going,” head coach Todd Buckingham said.
The ladies began conference play against Lake Erie on Friday. With Sam Willman on the mound, the Cardinals dominated.
The game started off with Meredith Rousse crossing home plate after a double steal. After that, Aubree Mouthaan homered over the left field fence, knocking in two. The only other run of the game came from Mouthaan, whose sacrifice fly scored teammate Evy Lobdell.
Willman dominated on the mound, going the distance and allowing only three hits. She got help from Lobdell, who went 2-3, and Meredith Rousse, who went 3-3 at the plate in the 4-0 Cardinal win.
The next game had similar results, an 8-3 win for SVSU.
The Cardinals began the game with a run in the second inning on an RBI hit from Becky Corbett, who knocked in Mouthaan. The Cardinals continued their strong inning with a three-run home run from Mouthaan.
Lake Erie countered in the same inning, putting up two of its own. But Anna Conrad added to the Cardinals’ lead with a double in the fifth inning, plating Mouthaan. The final runs of the game for the ladies came in the same inning on a Lobdell double that scored three.
Lake Erie mounted a small comeback in the seventh inning but was only able to put up one run, making the final 8-3. Annie Hansen picked up the win for SVSU, only allowing two runs.
“We were really excited to get back out there,” said Lobdell, who went 3-5 during the second game. “It was great starting off 2-0 in the conference.”
Saturday, Saginaw Valley faced off against Walsh. Walsh, which had the home field advantage, was embarrassed during the first game. With Willman in the circle again, SVSU dominated. She was pulled after only two innings due to a huge offensive start.
In the first inning alone, SVSU put up 12 runs. Contributing to the inning were Danielle Hamilton, who had a two-run double, and Courtney Reeves, who bombed a three-run shot.
Along with the hitters, Walsh’s pitching helped the Cardinals with multiple wild pitches, bringing in a few extra runs. SVSU added more runs in the second and third innings, bringing its total to 19. The game ended in a 19-0 Cardinal victory. The game only went five innings due to the mercy rule.
Lobdell went 3-5, knocking in three, while Hamilton finished 2-3 with two RBIs.
“We were all very focused and ready to hit,” Lobdell said. “We just came out ready to play (Saturday).”
She also pointed out the great play of her fellow teammates and their selflessness.
“Everybody was contributing,” she said. “There wasn’t one person that wasn’t doing something.”
Her coach was also impressed with their huge game.
“Honestly, it was just one of those games for Walsh,” Buckingham said. “The score was indicative of our hitters’ ability to stay disciplined at the plate.”
The following game moved a bit slower. The game was a pitcher’s duel with Willman throwing a complete game yet again and only allowing two hits.
Each team was scoreless through six innings until SVSU finally broke the ice in the seventh inning on an RBI single from Lobdell, which would be the only run of the game for both sides.
Lobdell led her team yet again, going 2-4 with the lone RBI.
After a long weekend, Buckingham was proud of his girls’ performance.
“This team has been all about getting the job done from day one,” Buckingham said. “They step on the dirt ready to impose their will.”
He went on to talk of his team’s excitement for the rest of the season.
“It’s great start to GLIAC play with a 4-0 record,” Buckingham said. “But to be honest, that’s what we’re supposed to do. These were the bottom two teams in the conference, so it will only get more challenging as the year progresses. The players know that. They want that GLIAC championship.”
The Lady Cards are away from home again next weekend as they play against Urbana and Ohio Dominican.