Storch’s walk-off home run lifts Coyotes to title

REED CITY — Jordyn Storch’s timing for home runs this softball season has been nearly perfect.

It definitely was on Saturday.

Storch hit a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh of the Division 3 district title game against Hart for a 4-3 victory. It resulted in Reed City’s first district title since 2012.

It also was Storch’s 11th home run of the season, setting a new school single-season record.

Sidni Rushford was the winning pitcher. She allowed three runs on four hits, striking out two and walking two. No runs were earned.

Storch, Myers and Rushford had one hit apiece.

It was 3-3 going into the bottom of the seventh when Storch delivered the walk-off home run.

Coach Roger Steig said it was pointed out to him it’s the first known time Reed City baseball and softball have won a district title the same season.

Going into the district, Steig had stressed the need for improved pitching and defense.

“We made a couple of adjustments defensively this week,” he said. “We tightened up our defense, it seemed to work really well for us.”

As she was preparing for her junior season on Reed City’s softball team, Storch didn’t quite know what to expect.

But two months later, it’s definitely turned into a season she and Reed City’s softball team will remember for a long time.

She played junior varsity for two seasons. She previously pitched and played other positions, including shortstop. She’s been at short and third this season, and has done some pitching.

“I have a really good glove,” she said.

But her bat has especially been dangerous for opposing pitchers this season.

“I’ve been a very strong hitter,” Storch said.

She came into the season confident she could hit varsity pitching, and has proven it to be the case. The pitchers are better and faster on the varsity level, but Storch has proven easily she’s a quality batter for the varsity.

“Following through and extending your arm,” is what she said it would take to be an effective hitter. Storch worked on her game with teammates during term break and stayed on top of her game.

The Coyotes won the semifinal game 4-3 over McBain.

Sidni Rushford went the distance, allowing four runs on six hits, striking out five and walking one. She allowed no earned runs.

Contributing one hit each were Storch, Kamryn Myers, Rushford, Maddie Morgan and Devin Willard.

Morgan got the game-winning RBI the bottom of the seventh on a fielder’s choice to score Myers.

Reed City (21-18) will play Kent City at noon on Saturday in a Division 3 regional semifinal game at Morley Stanwood.

Calvin Christian faces Ravenna in the other bracket.