Otsego softball coach Jake Knash (back, far left) and his players celebrated their win in the Don Knight Memorial Tournament on Saturday, April 28. (Photo provided)Hamilton third baseman Alyssa VandenBerg awaits the throw as Otsego’s Jesse Powers gets to the base safely. (Photo by Amy Rudolph)

Host Otsego wins Don Knight Memorial Tournament

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Otsego softball coach Jake Knash has been waiting for the day his team puts it all together and plays with the kind of consistency of which he’s always believed them to be capable.
That day turned out to be Saturday, April 29.
Hosting the Don Knight Memorial Tournament, the Bulldogs posted a 3-0 record that culminated with a 14-5 victory over Coldwater in the championship game.
Otsego’s other wins came against Godwin Heights (16-0 in three innings) and Hamilton (12-5).
Hamilton finished with a 2-1 record, while Plainwell went 1-2.
“Overall, we had a great day,” Knash said. “We hit the ball, we played solid defense and our pitching was tough today. This is the best we’ve played so far this season.”
In the title game, Otsego scored three runs in the top of the first inning to take control. The Bulldogs added three more runs an inning later to go up 6-0.
Coldwater narrowed the gap to 6-5 after four innings, but Otsego responded with a three-run rally in the top of the fifth thanks to RBI doubles from Katie Scheuer and Lexi Bower and a run-scoring single from Madison Kinnane.
The Bulldogs tacked on five more runs in the top of the seventh—including another RBI double from Bower and an RBI single by Kassidy Wesaw—to pull away.
Bower finished the game 5-for-5 with three doubles, four runs and four RBI. Kinnane went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while Wesaw and Scheuer each had two hits and an RBI.
Abby Deamud pitched all seven innings for the win, allowing nine hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Jesse Powers led the offensive charge against Hamilton with a 3-for-4 performance that included an RBI triple as part of a five-run second inning that saw the Bulldogs erase a 3-2 deficit. Powers added two doubles, scored three runs and drove in a pair.
Scheuer (3-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI), Bower (2-for-4 with a double and a run) and Wesaw (2-for-5 with a double and two runs) also had multiple hits.
Kassie Laduke went the distance in the pitcher’s circle for the win.
The Godwin Heights game was all Otsego, as the Bulldogs scored 15 runs in the bottom of the first innings.
Kelsey Scheuer posted three hits in as many at-bats, scored twice and drove in two runs, while Kinnane went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI. Kinnane also earned the win with three innings of one-hit pitching that included six strikeouts.
“I was very proud of our girls to go out and win all three games today,” Knash said. “I feel like we are finally starting to work together as a team and play together.”
The loss to Otsego was the lone blemish for Hamilton, which started its day with a 16-1 win over Delton in three innings and ended it with a 14-4 win over Gobles in six innings.
The Hawkeye offense wasted no time in jumping all over Delton, plating 13 runs in the top of the first inning.
Chloe DeJonge, Liza Lohman, Morgan LaCombe, Allyssa VandenBerg and Haley VanHuis each had two hits for the Hawkeyes, with one of DeJonge’s going for a double. LaCombe and DeJonge also drove in three runs, while Lohman and VanHuis each drove home two runs.
In addition to her production at the plate, DeJonge also got the win by pitching all three innings.
Riki Ediger provided a highlight in the loss to Otsego, hitting a home run to go with a single. She drove in four runs.
DeJonge went 3-for-4, while VanHuis added a single and a double. Maddie Rudolph singled twice.
Against Gobles, the Hawkeyes led 5-0 before Gobles made it 5-4 in the top of the first inning. Hamilton came right back with seven runs in the bottom of the frame to regain control.
Lohman (3-for-5 with a double, two runs and an RBI), Ediger (3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI) and DeJonge (3-for-4 with a run and two RBI) each had three hits. Rudolph added a triple, a single and three runs in three at-bats.
DeJonge started and worked the first 5-2-/3 innings with seven strikeouts.
Plainwell started its day with losses to Coldwater (11-5) and Muskegon Orchard View (11-1) before ending the day on a high note with a 15-0 win over Godwin.
Ellie Beachler starred at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle for the Trojans in that game. In addition to pitching a one-hit shutout in the three-inning affair, she also pounded out three hits.
Shanyn Jewell and Sophie Monroe joined Beachler with three hits each.
Against Coldwater, freshman Madison Hickman hit a base-loaded double to drive in three of her team’s five runs.
Beachler tripled and scored Plainwell’s lone run in the loss to Orchard View.

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