Nathan Broek | Sports Editor
EVERLY-Clay Central-Everly had a tough time throwing strikes, at least in the top of the fourth inning, and Trinity Christian took full advantage of that fact en route to a 14-2 non-conference softball victory Tuesday, May 29.
The Tigers scored three runs in the top of the first and one run in the top of the second. The Mavericks countered with a single run in the bottom half of the second. Trinity Christian got that run right back in the top of the third, but Clay Central-Everly had another answer with a single run in the bottom half before the Tigers rallied for nine runs in the top of the fourth.
Key hits in the top of the fourth came from Caitlin Van Engen with a one-run single and Alyssa Uittenbogaard with a sacrifice fly ball. The other seven runs were scored on walks and wild pitches. Clay Central-Everly only scored one run in the bottom half of the frame to enforce the 12-run mercy rule.
“Clay Central’s pitcher did struggle to find the strike zone in that inning, but we also had some timely hits that inning that allowed runs to score,” said Trinity Christian coach Kassandra Heynen. “We started off the inning by hitting the ball well and I was just happy with how patient and disciplined we were at the plate toward the end. Their pitcher was struggling and we were able to capitalize on that with nine runs.”
Aiding that offense was a clean effort on defense. Koralee Heynen was the starting pitcher, throwing all four innings with three hits, two runs that were both unearned, one walk and five strikeouts.
“Right away in the top of the first inning, we scored three runs and I thought she came out and did a nice job,” coach Heynen said. “They (Clay Central-Everly) did put the bat on the ball a little bit, but our defense made the plays, too. We only had one error in the four innings, so I was pleased with just how she was moving the ball around and how, when the ball went to our defense, our defense was able to make the plays.”
Uittenbogaard did not have a hit in this contest, but did drive in two runs. Sydney Brummel had a hit, two runs, a stolen base and three walks. Koralee Heynen had one hit which was a double, three runs, an RBI and one walk. Shayna De Roon had one hit which was a double, two runs, one RBI and one walk. Ashley Van Egdom had one hit, one run, an RBI, a steal and one walk. Van Engen had one hit, one run and two RBIs. Elizabeth Poppema had a run, an RBI, a steal and a walk. Jayden Hoksbergen had one hit, two runs, an RBI and a walk. Abbie Kuiper had one hit, two runs, an RBI, a steal and two walks.
Defense keys 7-1 victory
HULL-The offense did its part, but defense was the main factor in Trinity Christian coming away with a 7-1 War Eagle Conference softball victory over Unity Christian Wednesday, May 30.
The Knights tallied one run in the top of the first, but the Tigers came right back with two runs in the bottom half. After two scoreless frames, Trinity Christian scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, one run in the bottom of the fifth and two in the bottom of the sixth to account for the final score.
Overall, Alyssa Uittenbogaard had two hits, two runs and three steals. Sydney Brummel had three hits, three runs, one RBI and a steal. Koralee Heynen had two hits, one run, two RBIs, a steal and a walk. One of Heynen’s hits was a home run. Caitlin Van Engen scored once and had one RBI. Elizabeth Poppema had one RBI.
“I was really happy with our offense last night. I thought we started off the game strong. Even though we allowed them to score right away in the first, we came right back with two. I thought we had good at-bats and we were disciplined at the plate,” said Tigers’ coach Kassandra Heynen.
What impressed the coach the most, however, was how well Trinity Christian played on defense. The Tigers committed no errors in the game and were led in the circle by Koralee Heynen who went all seven innings with four hits, one run that was earned, three walks and had a season-high 10 strikeouts.
“The defense was great. I was really happy with how we played. We didn’t have any errors, which was a little crazy for us,” coach Heynen said. “But Koralee did fantastic on the mound and the defense made plays behind her. I think just about everyone touched the ball on the field at some point, made an out and did what they were supposed to do. It was just a clean game defensively for us, which was great to see.”
The coach added the team has a lot of confidence in itself at this point in the season.
“We’re having a lot of fun. We are just really liking the fact things are starting to come together. If we keep everyone healthy hopefully we can continue it, but it’s a great environment right now. We’re seeing confidence continuing to be built and that’s a positive as well,” coach Heynen said.
Tigers falter late in 6-5 defeat
Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 0-0-0-0-1-3-2 6
HARTLEY-Trinity Christian took the early lead, but errors and a stall in offense proved costly as the Tigers fell 6-5 to Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn in War Eagle Conference softball Friday, June 1.
Trinity Christian scored one run in the top of the first inning, two in the top of the fourth and two in the top of the fifth. But Tigers’ coach Kassandra Heynen noted her team left a few more runs out there.
“We were doing a great job. Defensively, Koralee (Heynen) was pitching great for us. However, in the first inning, we loaded the bases and we only got one run out of it. In the second inning we loaded the bases and got no runs out of it and in the third inning we were able to load the bases, but we were unable to capitalize. So we had opportunities, but we were unable to score any runs.”
In the sixth and seventh innings, Trinity Christian’s offense was unable to make the type of solid contact it had in the first couple innings, while the Hawks started to find their grove. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn scored one run in the bottom of the fifth, three in the bottom of the sixth and two in the bottom of the seventh with the game-winning run being scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and no one out.
“So we where unable to come back when they scored a few runs in the sixth. In the top of the seventh, we had three-up and three-down. So that was too bad,” coach Heynen said. “For Hartley in the sixth, they where ready to hit. They capitalized on the two errors we had in the fifth, but they just hit the ball in the sixth and seventh. Koralee did move it around and did get tired at the end, but I felt she did a good job of being able to battle through that. It’s the end of a long week and they just found the gaps.”
The final line for Koralee Heynen was seven innings of work with seven hits, six runs of which five were earned, four walks and nine strikeouts.
Alyssa Uittenbogaard had two hits and scored one run. Sydney Brummel had two hits and one run. Heynen had two hits, one run and two RBIs. Shayna De Roon had one run and one RBI. Abby Kuiper had one run.
Overall, Trinity Christian fell to 3-2 on the season.