RAPID RIVER - Before the start of the last doubleheader of the season at Rapid River, the Rockets huddled up and all agreed they wanted to send their lone senior, Savannah Stenlund, out with a win in the final games of her career at Rapid River.
The Marquette Redettes had a different idea and played the role of spoilers on Wednesday, however, as they took the first game of the twinbill, 6-2.
But just as Marquette foiled Rapid River's (10-9) plans, the Redettes played a large part in helping the Rockets send off Stenlund with a win. Marquette committed eight errors and Rapid River made them pay in a 7-2 win in the final game of the doubleheader.
Marquette’s Amanda Gray, right, slides safely into third base before the ball can get to Rapid River’s Kendyl Miller in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday in Rapid River. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Bryce Derouin)
"I heard them all say 'Lets win this one for Stenny,' and by gosh, they went out there and got it done, so that was neat," Rapid River head coach George Kanyuh said.
In the first contest, the Rockets took control early, scoring the first two runs of the game in the first inning. Erika Schwartz knocked in Aslynn Brockway for the RBI and Kendyl Miller tallied an RBI on a sacrifice fly, which allowed Hannah Kanyuh to score and give the Rockets a 2-0 advantage.
"We got off to a fast start in that first game," George Kanyuh said. "(We) scored a couple runs in the first inning. That first game we hit the ball well, but just right at people and they came through with some key hits when they needed to, and they beat us."
Unfortunately for Rapid River, the two early runs would be all it could muster off of Marquette's Senja Liimatta. She earned the win after pitching a complete game and allowing just two earned runs on six hits and four walks. Liimatta collected five strikeouts.
The Marquette bats came alive in the middle innings and the Redettes scored three runs in the third inning and two in the sixth inning before picking up an insurance run in the seventh inning.
"I thought we came out and played really well the first game," Marquette head coach Paul Seibert said. "Savannah is a great pitcher and it took us a little while to get to her. I thought Rapid hit fairly well the first game, but we just didn't make any mistakes."
Stenlund took the loss, throwing seven innings and allowing six runs on 12 hits and one walk, while managing to strike out nine batters.
Marquette's Amber Beaudry led the Redette offense in the first contest, notching two doubles and a single.
Similar to the first game, the Rockets got off to another quick start. This time, the Redettes helped out the Rockets' cause, committing four errors in the first inning. That allowed the Rockets to take a 3-0 lead, all off of unearned runs.
"It's kind of been the theme of our season," Seibert said. "We lost a little bit of our focus early. We gave them three unearned runs right off the get-go. Then we kind of settled in, but they played comfortable the entire game and we never really pushed them.
"It's on me. Somehow I have to keep them focused between games, so we don't have those letdowns."
With Schwartz on the mound, Rapid River never allowed the Marquette batters to mount any sort of serious comeback. The sophomore pitched a complete game, struck out four and allowed just two runs on 10 hits and one walk.
"Erika keeps getting better every time out and tonight was no exception," George Kanyuh said. "She hit her spots and she really had some good control tonight."
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Rockets scored two more runs to make it 5-0. This time, it was Stenlund who scored Brockway on the sacrifice fly, and Schwartz driving in Hannah Kanyuh on an RBI single.
Marquette was finally able to touch up Schwartz in the sixth inning, when Beaudry scored Brooke Houle on an RBI single, and Bean Frye knocked in Hannah Johnson on an RBI double for the Redettes only two runs of the game.
The Rockets added two more insurance runs in its last inning at the plate. Brockway secured her second and third RBI's of the game after hitting a single that scored Dominique Pavlat and Erica Rubick.
Brockway finished the contest 3-of-4 at the plate, with two doubles and the three RBI's.
"We've made some adjustments in Asylnn's mechanics in the last week or so, and tonight is evident that the dividends are starting to pay off," George Kanyuh said. "Tonight is a huge confidence builder to her that the work in the hitting room is starting to pay off."