KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Saginaw Valley State University softball team split day one of the Rebel Spring Games, defeating Fayetteville, 10-0 in six innings and falling to Concordia St. Paul, 9-6.
The Cardinals took an early lead over Fayetteville State going up 4-0 in the top of the first inning. The first run came across the plate when senior Kalie Burdick (Milford, Mich.) fouled out deep down the left field line allowing senior Ashley Coffin (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Stephenson HS) to score from third. Saginaw Valley increased its lead to 3-0 when junior Jenna Holmes (Jenison, Mich.) singled to second driving in two runs. The final run of the inning came when freshman Jordan Randall (Clinton Twp., Mich.) scored on a passed ball.
Saginaw Valley tacked-on three more runs in the top of the fifth inning giving them the 7-0 advantage over the Broncos. Sophomore Jill Kaltz (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II) dug in with bases loaded and laced a single through the left side of the infield that brought in two runs for the Cardinals. Junior Devon Eley drove the final run of the inning in when she singled to the shortstop allowing Randall to cross home.
In the top of the sixth inning, Saginaw Valley added three more runs on three hits, allowing them to take a 10-0 lead. Junior Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich./Kettering HS) scored from third base on a groundout extending the Cardinal lead to 8-0. Randall would pick up her first career hit when she singled through the left side, scoring senior Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich. / Anchor Bay HS). Saginaw Valley scored their final run of the game when Holmes doubled down the left field line allowing Randall to cross the plate.
Junior Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) got the win for the Cardinals pitching all six innings and striking out six, notching her first victory of the season. Eley went three-for-three, while Holmes went two-for-four in the contest.
In game two Saginaw Valley fell behind early when Concordia St. Paul's lead-off batter homered over the center field fence. The Cardinals answered back in the bottom of the first when Burdick singled to left center scoring Wellman.
Concordia took back their lead in the top of the second inning when they scored three runs on two hits and two Saginaw Valley errors. The Golden Bears continued to build on their lead in the top of the third inning when they added a run to give them a 5-1 advantage over the Cardinals.
Saginaw Valley began to chip away in the bottom of the fourth inning when they scored three runs on three hits. The first run of the inning came on an Eley single to right-center field. The Cardinals would come within one run of Concordia when Coffin singled through the right side of the field bringing in both Kaitlyn Kenyon (Tecumseh, Mich.) and pinch-runner Samantha Sutton (Armada, Mich.).
Saginaw Valley tied the score at 5-5 when Wellman homered to center field for her second hit of the game. The Golden Bears took the 8-5 lead in the top of the sixth inning on a Calli Brennan double to right center clearing the bases.
The Cardinals added one run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Happ singled to left field bringing in Kenyon. Concordia added one more run, going up 9-6 over Saginaw Valley in the top of the seventh inning on a single through the left side of the field.
Junior Jillian Williamson (Unionville/Sebewaing, Mich./Unionville Sebewaing Area HS) took the loss for the Cardinals pitching 6.2 innings with seven strikeout, while freshman Lauren Theirry (Lincoln Park, Mich./Riverview Gabriel Richard HS) recorded the final out. Coffin and Wellman went two-for-four in the game, with Wellman hitting her first homerun of the season.
Saginaw Valley will be back in action on Sunday (Mar. 3) when they battle a pair of team from Minnesota. The Cardinals will face off against Minnesota State-Mankato at 9:00 AM and St. Cloud State at 11:00 AM.