Reed City girls fall in regional semifinals

By John Raffel

Herald Review Sports  Writer

MORLEY — It wasn't the result the Reed City Coyotes wanted in a 16-4 loss in five innings to Kent City in Saturday's Division 3 semifinal game at Morley Stanwood.

But coach Roger Steig pointed out to his team reasons to be optimistic over next season.

"I told the girls afterwards we're graduating one senior and they're graduating 10," Steig said. "We're coming back next year."

The season ended at 21-19 for Reed City, which posted wins over McBain and Hart last week for a district championship.

"Kent City has a lot of offense and did a good job catching up with our pitchers," Steig said. "I thought our kids played hard. We lost to a good squad. They've got 33 wins on the season and I don't think it was by accident."

Reed City's Jordyn Storch hit her school-record 12th home run of the season to lead off the game, but Kent City exploded with 12 runs in the bottom of the second to take control.

Madeline Peterson's triple put the Eagles up 6-1. Sarah Meek and Autumn O'Keefe had doubles and Meghan Boyd added a triple for a 6 -0 lead.

Kelsey Kruger and Kassidy Heeringa added singles and a bases loaded walk made it 9-1. O'Keefe batted again, and had a two-run single for a 12-1 lead.

Several of Kent City's hits were bloopers, which seemed to fall in the right spot.

"When we moved back, the ball dropped in front of us and when we moved up, they hit it over our heads," Steig said. "That's just one of those days and how it went."

Steig used both Sidni Rushford and Maddie Morgan in the inning. The Coyotes got three runs back in the third. Kiera Barker smacked an RBI single and Morgan had a two-run double.

"We knew coming in we could score runs off of them," Steig said. "We have a good offense. We have a good hitting club. It was a matter of how few runs we could hold them to."

But the Eagles struck back with RBI singles by Lauren Longcore, Kaylee Campbell and O'Keefe.

The Eagles had 17 hits in four innings. Storch, Barker and Willard had two hits apiece. Drew Arnold, Myers and Morgan had one apiece.

"We did well but we had too many errors on the field," Myers said. "You have to be solid with no errors."

Calvin Christian beat Kent City in the title game 5-3.

The spring season is over but Steig plans on a summer program to keep the softball players active.

"We'll stay together during the summer and tune ourselves up for next year," he said. "The girls got a taste of it. It's a great experience for them to get here."