Bulldogs pick up two wins over Paw Paw
It was a case of anything you can do, I can do better in the opening game of Otsego’s Wolverine Conference softball twinbill with Paw Paw on Friday, April 22.
After Paw Paw snapped a 2-2 tie with a run in the top of the eighth inning, the Bulldogs came back with not one, but two runs in the bottom of the frame to secure the 4-3 win.
The eighth inning was played under international tiebreaker rules, which means each team starts the inning with a runner on second base.
“That game was close all the way through,” Otsego coach Jake Knash said.
In the bottom of the eighth, Emma Nuyen started at second base for Otsego as she had been the final out the previous inning. Kassidy Wesaw was then hit by a pitch before a single by Roni Powers plated Nuyen to knot the score at 3-3.
Following a walk to Jesse Powers, Gianna Barbato stepped to the plate and singled home Wesaw for the winning run.
“Gianna came up and made a big double play in (the top of the eighth) to save another run and then she came up to the plate and got a walk-off single,” Knash said.
Kassie Laduke pitched all eight innings for the win, scattering four hits while walking two and striking out five.
“I was very proud of Kassie,” Knash said. “She throws with a lot of movement on her pitches and keeps the batters off balance.”
Madison Kinnane kept up the strong pitching for Otsego in game two, allowing just one unearned run on five hits with one walk as the Bulldogs won 9-1 to complete the sweep.
“Madison was outstanding,” Knash said. “Both of our pitchers did their job.”
Otsego scored four times in the bottom of the first inning and added five more runs in the sixth, including a three-run double from Wesaw.
Wesaw also singled, while Ashley Lewis was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
“Overall, I was so happy with our defense today,” Knash said. “The biggest difference that I saw tonight was we bounced back very quick after a mistake. We didn’t allow it to get to us. My entire infield—Gianna Barbato, Emma Nuyen, Jess Powers and Ashley Lewis—are very tough. They don’t let many get by.
“Kassidy Wesaw caught both games. She works so hard back there. She only let one ball get by her tonight. It is so nice to have a young catcher that just loves to be behind the plate. Nikki Hoover and Roni Powers led the way in the outfield tonight, making some excellent run-saving plays.”