The Tuscola softball team’s first time on the dirt this season was in the first game of the southern swing after two canceled contests due to Mother Nature.
The Lady Warriors hit the ground running by putting 11 runs on the board behind a solid seven-inning outing by Kaitlyn Reifsteck in a 10-run win over a good Benton squad on their home field. They backed it up with a 4-1 victory over Ziegler-Royalton in game two of the swing thanks to a strong seven-inning outing by Ashton Smith.
Reifsteck worked all seven frames against the Rangerettes and gave up one run on five hits and a walk while striking out 12. Smith was efficient in her seven-stanza win over Ziegler, throwing just 78 pitches in the contest allowing just one to cross the dish on four hits and no walks. She fanned six in the game, and, after a 10-pitch at bat by the three hitter, averaged less than three pitches per batter the rest of the way.
Saturday, March 16
Leading the way on offense in the opener against Benton was third baseman Jessie Martin. The sophomore was 3 for 3 in the game, scored twice, drove in one, and stole a base. Next up was a bevy of Warriors all who donated two base knocks to the cause. Natalie Bates posted two hits, scored three runs, swiped a pair of bags, and drove in a run. Claire Ring and Jackie Watson both garnered a pair of hits and each drove in a run on RBI doubles. Kendyl Ring pushed two across the plate on two singles while also swiping four bases. Smith also was part of the 15-hit performance with two singles.
Watson drew first blood of the season with a two-out single in the top of the first, stole second and scored on a double by C. Ring, who in turn found her way home on a line drive single to right center by Smith. In the second, Sydney Watson walked, Martin singled to move her before Bates, K. Ring and J. Watson all produced base hit to drive in runs. Bates scored twice more later in the contest following base hits and stolen bases. Then in the top of the seventh the bench answered the call as Marissa Russo and Carissa Denny combined with C. Ring to plate two on back-to-back-to-back singles sealing the deal on the victory.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, March 20 edition of The Tuscola Journal.