KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Saginaw Valley State University softball team split day six of the 2012 Rebel Spring Games, falling to California (Pa.), 3-2 in eight innings before defeating Concordia St. Paul, 6-5 in a rematch game from earlier in the week. The Cardinals are now 6-6 overall on the season.
The California (Pa.) offense struck first, scoring the first run of the contest in the bottom of the third inning when Jillian Russell singled to right center bringing a run across the plate.
Saginaw Valley finally got going in the top of the fifth inning when senior Ashley Coffin (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II HS) laced a single through the infield scoring both pinch runner Amanda Kimes (Caledonia, Mich.) and Jordan Randall (Clinton Twp, Mich./Clinton HS) for the 2-1 advantage.
The Vulcans wasted little time answering the Cardinal rally evening the score back up in the bottom of the fifth inning when Russell knocked in her second RBI of the afternoon, knotting the score at 2-2.
The game remained locked at 2-2 through all seven innings of regular play, forcing the contest into an international tie breaker. The Cardinals would advance Samantha Sutton (Armada, Mich.) to third off a sacrifice bunt from Coffin, but the Cardinals would be unable to bring her across the plate in their half of the eighth inning.
The Vulcan's Shelby Lia advanced Natalie Wideman to third base on a sacrifice bunt, and SVSU would opt to intentionally load the bases by walking the next two batters with only one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Alyson Johnson dug in to the box and knocked a single deep into center field giving California (Pa.) the only run they would need to defeat the Cardinals, 3-2.
Junior Jillian Williamson (Unionville/Sebewaing, Mich.) suffered her fifth loss pitching 7.1 innings in the circle with five strikeouts. Coffin led the way for Saginaw Valley with one hit and two runs batted in, while Kailah Happ (Waterford, Mich./Kettering HS) went two-for-four at the plate.
The Saginaw Valley offense had a breakout first inning against Concordia St. Paul scoring four runs on four hits. The Cardinals loaded the bases, drawing two walks and a Happ single through the left side of the field with no outs. Senior Natalie Wellman (Fairhaven, Mich./Anchor Bay HS) would stand in and take four balls that would bring in SVSU's first run of the inning.
Sophomore Lindsey Hayward gave Saginaw Valley the 2-0 lead over the Golden Bears when she singled through the left side of the field allowing Coffin to cross the plate. The Cardinals brought in their final two runs of the inning and extended their lead to 4-0 with back-to-back singles from freshman Mallie Hall (Chicago, Ill./Bolingbrook HS) and Kimes.
Saginaw Valley would continue to build on their lead in the second inning when Coffin led off with a double down the left field line and would end up scoring on a Concordia throwing error giving the Cardinals a 5-0 advantage.
The Cardinals tacked on their sixth run of the contest in the bottom of the third inning when Kimes picked up her second hit of the game, lacing a triple down the right field line to lead off. Kaltz would step into the box and knock a single to right center that would allow Kimes to score, extending the Saginaw Valley lead to 6-0 over the Golden Bears.
Concordia started a comeback in the top of the fifth inning when they scored three runs on one hit and two Cardinal errors. The Golden Bears pushed their first run of the contest across the plate when Brynn Larsen grounded out, and brought the runner in from third base. Concordia came within four of Saginaw Valley when Alicia Meiser touched home on a passed ball. Erin Tjornhom scored the final run of the inning for the Golden Bears when she grounded out to the mound allowing Katie Anderson to score an unearned run, cutting the SVSU lead to 6-3.
Concordia would add two runs in the top of the seventh inning to make the final score 6-5. Alexa Gehrls (Caledonia, Mich.) picked up her fifth win of the season, pitching 4.2 inning with four strikeouts, while Williamson picked up her second save of the season pitching the final 2.1 innings of action.
The Cardinals will finish their trip to the Rebel Spring games on Friday (Mar. 9) when they play Indiana (Pa.) and Adelphi starting at 3:00 PM.