Marquette softball team doubles win total with sweep of Rapid River

MARQUETTE — Marquette doubled its win total in one day after sweeping a high school softball doubleheader against Rapid River on Wednesday.

Playing at Lions Field in Marquette Township, the Redettes opened with a 3-1 victory before pulling off a pair of stirring comebacks for an 8-7, eight-inning win in the nightcap.

Marquette improved to 4-16.

“It was nice to beat a good pitcher twice tonight,” MSHS coach Paul Seibert said of the Rockets’ Natalie Belanger. “She’s one of the top pitchers in the U.P.”

In Game 2, the Redettes were forced to mount three comebacks before winning in extra innings.

“We had the top of the order coming up, so we knew we had a chance,” Seibert said about a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh that tied the score 7-7 and forced an extra inning. “The girls hit the ball hard, but Rapid River caught a couple of line drives.

“The big thing was (our) girls’ positive attitude. They stick with it and if they have enough patience, can come back.”

RR built a 4-0 lead after two innings.

“We gave them a couple of runs early,” Seibert said after an error kept the first inning alive when two runs scored with another run scoring on a wild pitch in the second.

MSHS got three back in the third to cut its deficit to one. Maija King and Maddie Carter had run-scoring singles after Rayna Warchock earlier singled.

Then three Redette errors led to three more runs for the Rockets as they built a 7-3 lead in the fifth.

That led to the seventh-inning comeback. Warchock and Lexi Trombley singled with Sofia van den Ende and Carter each scoring one on their singles before Amanda McIntire hit a two-run single to tie it 7-7.

The teams reverted to international rules in the eighth, when a runner is placed on second base to start the inning.

An error and a walk loaded the bases for RR in top of the inning before a force out at the plate and ground out to the pitcher ended the threat.

Marquette clinched the win in the bottom of the inning when Riley Dyer, a JV callup, hit a sacrifice bunt to move runner Alaina Saari, another JV callup, to third. That set up Warchock’s infield single with two outs that brought Saari home with the game winner.

Warchock got the pitching win, going all eight innings and scattering nine hits and three walks while striking out six.

Belanger was the hard-luck loser, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing 12 hits and a walk while fanning four.

Warchock was 4 for 5 and scored twice, while Carter and van den Ende each were 2 for 4 with a run as Carter had three RBIs and van den Ende one.

Belanger, Cecelia Pilon and Jaden Schwartz each had two hits for RR.

In the opener, McIntire went the distance while scattering six hits and walking two as she struck out nine to get the win. Belanger allowed five his and no walks with six Ks.

The Redettes scored single runs in the first, fourth and sixth while the Rockets got their run in the fifth.

Van den Ende was 3 for 3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored, while Carter was 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Emily Goodacre had two hits for RR.

In the opening inning, Warchock singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on van den Ende’s single to the left side.

Van den Ende led off the fourth with another single, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Maija King and scoring on Carter’s safety squeeze bunt.

Van den Ende also scored in the sixth after singling, stealing second, moving to third on another bunt by King and scoring on a Carter single.

Madi Lachamee knocked in Goodacre as each singled in the fifth, though the Rockets couldn’t move a runner into scoring position after that.

The Redettes return to Lions Field for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. today against Kingsford.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.