Ranger softball goes 1-1 against Mona Shores

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Tuesday night in a Ranger softball doubleheader at home, the young team was able to go one and one against Mona Shores. Even with the home run of senior Emily Wiltz, the Rangers lost the first game 8 to 6, but they were able to rally and win the second game 7 to 4.

“I told them to be more aggressive,” head coach Randy Kuiper said when talking about adjustments he made. “When they came up to bat [in the first game], they were a little tentative, in the second game they were more aggressive and they were swinging at pitches earlier and getting to the bases.”

The first inning of game two was just the beginning of the Ranger’s offensive run. Senior Sydney Reynolds was able to start with a double. She was able to steal a base while Emily was at the plate, giving herself the opportunity to start the scoring, when Emily sent a high pop fly into the air, putting the Rangers up by one. Emily herself was able to get to home base as well, ending the top of the first with the lady Rangers up by 2. Sophomore pitcher Tori MacLeod was able to strike out the Mona Shores lead off hitter, igniting the fire on defense. They gave up one run in the bottom of the first,  keeping a one run lead, 2-1.

“Tori has come a long ways as a pitcher, she’s very good,” Kuiper said. “I was very confident having her out there.”

The second inning for the Rangers was one that would change the game. Early on, sophomore Zoey Guikema was hit by a pitch, sending her to first. Tori then singled, putting runners on first and second. The momentum was kept alive when Sydney hit one to centerfield, knocking in Zoey to add a run for the Rangers. Senior Madi Noom got a hit as well and sprinted to second, Tori put the team up by three. FHN junior Hannah Miller stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park. She, Sydney, and Madi jogged home and added three for the Rangers.

“It was awesome to finally be back hitting how I know I can hit,” Hannah said. “It was great seeing my teammates waiting for me at home base. It was great to feel that good contact with the ball.”

The defensive end of the inning was just as clean as the offensive. They were able to leave Mona Shores with a 1, 2, 3 inning, with a score of 7 to 1.

The last five innings for the Rangers were slow on offense, but their defense made up for it. During the 3rd, sophomore Alex VanElls was able to dive for a ball in the outfield, giving the team another out. Sophomore Hailey Enbody was the hero of the 4th inning, catching three line drives to stop the Mona Shores offense.

During the 5th inning, a Mona Shores player was able to hit a home run, giving her team two runs. Madi shut down the momentum with a catch to end the inning. Mona Shores was able to score one more run in the game before getting shut down in the 7th. The game ended 7 to 4, an earned win by the Rangers.

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