Muskegon Community College doesn’t have answers for Lancing CC, drops doubleheader

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal,com’

MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Community College softball team is having a great season by any measure.LSJ Logo incert

But the Jayhawks haven’t been able to reach the top of their conference, mostly because they can’t get past Lansing Community College.

MCC, ranked tenth in the nation in National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2, dropped both ends of a doubleheader to LCC on Saturday, 5-0 and 6-5.

The losses pretty much dashed any hopes the Jayhawks had of competing for a title in the Western Conference of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. They also dropped a doubleheader to LCC earlier in the season.

MCC catcher Lindsey Greer gets ready to rifle a throw to second base. Photo/Steve Gunn

MCC catcher Lindsey Greer gets ready to rifle a throw to second base. Photo/Steve Gunn

But MCC can still qualify for postseason play and compete for state, regional and national honors. But the team has its work cut out for it.

To qualify for the state tournament, the Jayhawks will have to finish second in their conference. With eight games remaining, they are in fourth place, a game behind second-place Kellogg Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College and six games behind first-place Lansing CC.

The Jayhawks have their fate in their own hands with four of their remaining eight games against either Kellogg or Kalamazoo Valley.

“For us to make the state tournament we have to finish top two so that’s our goal,” said MCC Coach Ryan Schalk. “The top spot might be out of reach now with Lansing only having one loss and this giving us six conference losses.

“Moving forward we want to do whatever we can to finish in the second spot and go play in the state tournament and then qualify for regionals. Hopefully we can make some adjustments and get that done.”

The Jayhawks’ bats were quiet in the opener, but the second game was much more competitive after a slow start. MCC fell behind 4-0 in the first inning and a half.

The Jayhawks responded in the bottom of the second with a solo home run by Kayla Dutcher, but Lansing answered with a third-inning run to take a 5-1 lead.

The Jayhawks’ bats finally came to life in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Morgan Giddings looks toward home after the play at second base. Photo/Steve Gunn

Morgan Giddings looks toward home after the play at second base. Photo/Steve Gunn

Amy Gillings found the left-center outfield gap with a double, scoring McKenzie Butgereit and Dani Oracz. Gillings later scored in the inning when Morgan Nelson singled to right field to cut the deficit to 5-4.

“It felt really great because in the first at bat I didn’t do what I needed to do,” Gillings said. “This time I just did my job and as a team we just all came together at that time.”

But it wasn’t quite enough.

Lansing tacked on a run in the sixth inning to extend its lead to 6-4.

The Jayhawks threatened again in the bottom of the seventh when Morgan Giddings and Carrie Mesman led off the inning with singles.

After a fielder’s choice out, Briana Melrose hit a sacrifice fly that scored Giddings and pulled MCC within a run, but the rally fell just short.

Schalk expressed his frustration after the game.

“We need someone to step up and be a leader,” he said. “We need someone to step up and say it’s not okay to not be all in for the team. Hopefully we get that. We have time. We have a week and half before the regional and hopefully we’ll get there.”

 

McKenzie Butgereit beats out the throw at first base. Photo/Steve Gunn

McKenzie Butgereit beats out the throw at first base. Photo/Steve Gunn

Coach Ryan Schalk talks with Lindsey Helsen at third base. Photo/Steve Gunn

Coach Ryan Schalk talks with Lindsey Helsen at third base. Photo/Steve Gunn

Alysia Felkersma rounds third base for MCC. Photo/Steve Gunn

Alysia Felkersma rounds third base for MCC. Photo/Steve Gunn

1 Comment

  1. Tami

    April 24, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Kyla Dutcher, not Kayla.
    Briana Mairose, not Melrose
    Alysia Folkersma, not felkersma

    Thank you

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