MANCHESTER, Ind. - Calvin opened its 2021 campaign with a non-conference doubleheader sweep at Manchester, winning by scores of 11-1 and 13-3.
GAME ONE RECAP
Calvin belted 18 hits, en route to collecting the 11-1 mercy-rule win. Calvin trailed 1-0 through three innings of play but exploded for six runs in the fourth and five in the sixth to put the game away.
Junior Hannah Biddlecome (Portage, Mich./Portage Central HS), sophomore Kali Yant (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) and freshman Emma Springers (Three Oaks, Mich./River Valley HS) had three hits apiece.
Senior catcher Grace Stock (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg HS) had two hits and a pair of RBI. Senior Kayla Groen (Frankfort, Il./Lincoln-Way East HS) also had two hits and two RBI. Senior Kennedy Geiger (Clarksville, Md./Lake Odessa HS) had a pair of hits. Nine different Knights scored at least one run.
Sophomore Kristen Krause (Fredonia, Wisc./Grafton HS) went all six innings in the circle for the Knights to pick up the win, striking out seven and walking only two. Krause scattered four Manchester hits.
GAME TWO RECAP
Like game one, Calvin fell behind early, trailing 2-1 after one inning of play after the host Spartans touched up the Knights for a two-run homer in the bottom of the first.
An RBI double by Biddlecome in the third tied the game at two runs apiece and moments later Stock doubled home a run as the Knights built a 5-2 lead, using an error and a passed ball to score four runs in the inning.
The teams traded scoreless frames through the following three innings. Calvin (2-0) broke the game open with an eight-run outburst in the top of the seventh. Yant roped a two-run RBI double to start the scoring. Stock also had a two-run RBI single in the uprising.
Manchester (1-5) scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh to close out the scoring.
Calvin collected 13 hits and used five Manchester errors to claim the win.
Freshman Grace Class (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central HS) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a walk and two runs scored. Biddlecome, Yant and junior Addi Warner had two hits apiece. Stock drove in three runs.
Freshman Maddy Meredith (Portland, Mich./Grand Ledge HS) went six innings to pick up the win. Meredith struck out four and scattered eight hits. Sophomore Brianna Opalewski (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer HS) came on to pitch the final frame for the Knights.
COACHES COMMENT: "It was a great start to the season with two victories," said Calvin head softball coach Becky Hilgert. "After 380 days since we last played, our sole focus today was to have fun and just play instinctually. I know we all had butterflies early but I was really pleased with how we took a one pitch at a time approach and didn't let small errors or tense situations snowball. We were always ready for the next play. Our defense played loose but aggressive and it was great to see production from our entire lineup. We are excited for the next challenge and getting back on our home field Tuesday for conference play."
NEXT UP: Calvin will host Saint Mary's next Tuesday in a doubleheader scheduled to start at 3 p.m.