Lady Cats push Bulldogs to limit before loss
THREE RIVERS — It didn’t take Three Rivers’ softball coach Kendra Kutz long to sum up the Lady Cats’ season after a 5-3 Division 2 district semifinal loss at home to Vicksburg Saturday.
“The difference between this season and last year is we made teams earn a win instead of us just giving it to them,” said Kutz, whose Lady Cats improve from 17-18 a year ago to 24-12 this spring.
Otsego topped Plainwell 11-8 in the other district semifinal before losing in the championship to Vicksburg 17-7.
Vicksburg advances to play in the Edwardsburg Regional this Saturday.
Vicksburg had its hands full against a young but restless Three Rivers ballclub, which graduates just two seniors in Libby Judsen and Tiana Sternbergh.
“We put up a fight to the end against a well-rounded team. If could’ve had a couple more shots at the plate we would’ve won this game,” Kutz said.
“Unfortunately some of our better hitters struggled at clutch times today. But it’s okay because we’re young, have a year of experience under our belt and are ready to come back the next couple years and make some history in Three Rivers softball.”
Grace Stock’s two-run triple in the first inning drove in Carlie Kudary and Tailyn Knapp to put Vicksburg up 2-0.
Three Rivers’ junior catcher Halle Carpenter doubled to lead off the Lady Cats’ fourth inning. Carpenter scored on Tessa Hawkins’ single making the score 2-1.
Kudary’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth plated Sadie Martin and Raquel Rice. A bases-loaded walk to Shaidan Knapp scored Keagan Kelley and built the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 4-1.
Freshman Emma Thatcher belted a run-scoring triple that drove in sophomore Aislyn Sternbergh and cut the Lady Cats’ deficit to 5-2.
Three Rivers’ final run came in the sixth.