Ranger softball makes a comeback to go 2-0 against Cedar Springs

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Tuesday night, Ranger softball went 2-0 against Cedar Springs in a double header. The first game gave FHC a scare, but they winded up with a victory 6-5. The second game was more dominating for the Rangers, winning 14-5.

In the top of the first, the girls were off to a slow start. They were slow to get to the ball and gave up some free bases, FHC trailed by three before getting one out.

The Rangers got a slow start on offense as well. Senior Sydney Reynolds got a hit that was unfortunately caught in the outfield. Madi was next at bat and got a hit to get to first. Senior Emily Wiltz popped one in the air and ran to first. Cedar sent the ball to second, getting a second out. Alex knocked one way into the outfield and sprinted to first. Emily tried to get to third, but the ball got there before she did. The first inning ended and the Rangers trailed by three.

“The second pitcher for Cedar was way slower,” Head coach Randy Kuiper said. “She had a way different style from the pitcher in the first game. The first was a bit quicker and this one was slower. The girls just had to adjust.”

After having a bad first inning, the girls started to finally move faster. Sydney caught a line-drive ball at third for the first out. Aly picked one off the ground and sent it to northern junior Hannah Miller for a second. Aly herself was able to get the final out on the next hit.

The bottom of the second put the Rangers back into the game. Molly Donovan, a sophomore, got a hit but was out at first. Hannah got 4 balls and took the walk to first. Sophomore pitcher Tori MacLeod got a hit that went towards third base, she sprinted to first as Hannah went to second. Sophomore Zoey Guikema went in as the courtesy runner for Tori. Aly was as bat when the catcher missed the ball, Hannah sprinted to third and Zoey to second. Aly herself was able to get to first base taking 4 balls.

With only one out so far in the second, the Rangers had the chance to score some runs. Similarly to what happened when Aly was at bat, the catcher missed the ball while sophomore Valerie Nuffer was at the plate. The Rangers were on a roll. Everyone else moved to the next base, Valerie jogged to first getting 4 balls. Sydney got great contact with the ball and sent it straight back to the catcher. She ran to first as both Aly and Zoey were able to get to home. They were now tied at 3-3.

“We were able to adjust to the pitching,” Kuiper said. “It is all about timing, once one adjusts to it, they can all hit. Once they get going it’s contagious, everyone hits. All we had to do to get back into the game was adjust, and we were able to.”

Madi got a hit and everyone shifted to the next base. Next at bat was Emily, she got a nice hit into the outfield, she ran to second, Madi went to third, and Valerie and Sydney ran home. Alex then took 4 balls to walk to first. Molly was once again out at first, but Madi was fast enough to get to home. Alex went to second and Emily to third. Up next was Hannah, who had a solid hit and ran to first while Emily and Alex went home. The Rangers now had a 5 run lead, 8-3.

Up next was Tori whom got a hit and ran to first; Zoey once again ran for her. Hannah went to second. Once again, Aly was at bat, and the catcher missed the ball. Hannah ran to third and Zoey to second. She took 4 balls and walked to first. Valerie was now at bat, she got a hit and went to first. Hannah and Zoey both went home. The Red Hawks were able to stop the run, getting Sydney out at first. The inning ended 10-3.

Going into the third inning, the girls started to move slow once again, but only for a few plays. Molly caught a ball off the ground and sent it to Hannah at first for the first out. The next hit went into the air, but Aly unfortunately missed it. Sydney was able to get it off the bounce and tagged the runner going from second to third for another out. Madi caught a ball in the air for the last out, the Red Hawks obtained two runs in the inning.

Continuing the trend of bad starts, Madi’s hit got caught. Luckily, Emily made it to first before the ball did. Similarly to Madi, Alex’s hit got caught as well. Molly successfully ended her bad luck streak when she got a hit and sprinted to first; Emily went to second. Hannah put one in the air and ran to first as Molly went to second and Emily to home plate. Tori’s hit got caught for the third out.

The 4th inning went rather quickly. Both Molly and Madi got catches for outs one and two. Sydney threw one to Hannah for the third. On the offensive end, Valerie was at bat when the catcher missed the ball once more. Aly, who was on first ran to second. Sadly, Valerie striked out. Sydney’s hit was caught and well as Emily’s to end the 4th.

Likewise to the 4th, the 5th went quick as well. Molly snagged a ball for an out, and Tori got two to strikeout. On the offensive side, Alex got out at first. Molly got out at home, and Zoey got out at first.

The Rangers picked up momentum again in the 6th inning. Hannah obtained all three outs with the help of Tori, allowing Cedar to not get on the bases at all. Sydney, Madi, and Emily all got hits and ran to the bases, getting them loaded. Alex’s hit was caught, adding an out for the Rangers. Molly’s was also caught, but Sydney ran to home before it was, Madi went to third and Emily stayed put. Once again, the catcher missed the ball and Emily sprinted to second. Hannah was at bat and whacked on into the outfield, hitting the fence. Both Madi and Emily ran home for a 14-5 lead. Tori’s hit was caught. The game was ended and the Rangers were able to win after a 14-2 comeback.

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