Reed City softball season ends in loss to Hesperia
HART — It took one at-bat from Hesperia for the Panthers to show how formidable of an opponent they would be for Reed City in Monday’s Division 3 softball district semifinal at Hart.
Claire Rumsey hit a home run to open the game for the Panthers and had four hits in a 7-3 win over Reed City.
Hesperia advanced to the title game and won 13-0 over Hart, while the Coyotes (17-14) ended their season.
“(Hesperia) was pretty much what we expected,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “We felt like we had the better hitting team. We had to keep our mistakes at a minimum. But in the end, mistakes is what got us.”
Reed City got back to a 2-1 lead with a two-run home run by Jules Griffinin the top of the second, the first of the season. But Hesperia came back with four runs in the third and single tallies in the fourth and sixth. Reed City got its third run on Skiler Brigham’s solo home run in the top of the fifth, her fourth of the season
Five errors proved costly for the Coyotes who left 10 runners on base. In the bottom of the sixth, Courtney Smith made a snowcone catch in the outfield to stop Hesperia from scoring more runs.
“We took care of the ball and play good defense,” Hesperia coach Jim Walker said. “That was the most important part. We were pretty confident with our hitting coming in. We needed to make sure we took care of the ball today.”
It was Rumsey’s first home run of the season.
“She was tough,” Steig said. “We gave up the home run to start the game off the bat there. After that, I don’t know if any of their runs were earned.”
“She’s our leadoff hitter and second in average,” Walker said. “She has a lot of extra base hits. That was absolutely huge.”
Winning pitcher Meredith Schmitz retired the Coyotes in order in the top of the seventh getting Brigham and Ally Yarger out on flyballs and Olivia Lawson on a bounceout.
“I told the girls I’m proud of their effort today,” Steig said. “Skiler Brigham, I can’t say enough about how she’s come from her freshman year. She really led the team in an heroic way.”
Griffin led the Coyotes with three hits. Brigham had two hits while Yarger and Amy Squires had one apiece.
“From the start of the year to the end, we made big strides,” Steig said. “Our whole battle all year was getting our defense to tighten up. We did that. We made a couple of costly errors (Monday) and that was the difference in the game.”
The Coyotes graduate three seniors with Ashley Andres, Brigham and Lindsey Greer.
“We’ll miss our three seniors,” Steig said. “We were very young this year.”