Bulldogs’ Vallier twirls shutout at Lady Cats
PLAINWELL – Although solid in the field and lethal at the plate, Three Rivers struggled to find its groove on the pitching mound most of this season.
Kendra Kutz and her Lady Cats knew they would need to be more consistent on the pitching rubber against Vicksburg in Monday’s Division 2 district semifinal game in Plainwell.
Unfortunately, Three Rivers couldn’t muster enough offense or firepower on the mound to find success against their Wolverine Conference rivals.
Instead it was Vicksburg’s defense and power at the plate that worked in the Lady Bulldogs’ favor in a surprising 10-0 win over the Lady Cats in six innings.
Vicksburg went on to beat Otsego 10-3 in the championship game. The Bulldogs advance to face the winner of the South Haven District at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Edwardsburg Regional.
Three Rivers ends the season 28-11.
“I didn’t expect us to end the season like this. It’s a hard loss to swallow. In my opinion, I feel we’re a much better team, but Vicksburg is a very respectable team that knows how to win as well. You just aren’t going to beat a team with only one hit. It just doesn’t work that way,” Kutz said.
Emma Thatcher’s lead-off double to the left-field fence in the bottom of the first would be the only hit the Lady Cats would manage all day against Vicksburg pitcher Hannah Vallier.
Vallier was credited with the victory after allowing one hit, two walks while posting nine strikeouts. Her performance was impressive against a Three Rivers lineup that produced 57 home runs along with a team batting average of .412 this spring.
“We just couldn’t seem to make contact with the ball today and struck out a lot. We weren’t seeing the ball very well and didn’t make the changes we needed to make to get base hits,” Kutz said. “Credit their pitcher (Vallier) and their defense for getting the outs.”
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