By Mitch Ashcraft
After all, it doesn’t get any easier than three one-sided shutouts, and that’s what Oakridge produced on Saturday.
The Eagles defeated Ravenna 11-0 and North Muskegon 15-0, before clinching their third straight GMAA tournament title by downing Montague 11-0 in the five-inning championship game at Holton High School..
“The big thing is we wanted to repeat (as tournament champions),” said Coach Joe Coletta. “We have kind of set the standard now that this is one of our main goals of the season, to be county champions. We started out sluggish today, but we eventually got it rolling.”
The Eagles’ airtight pitching, which only allowed four hits all day, made a huge difference.
Brie Pastor earned the victory on the mound in each of the first two games, then Kayla Fessenden took over, dominating the championship game with her arm and bat.
She tossed five innings of two-hit ball and struck out eight batters, while recording three hits and five RBIs, including a three-run homer to end the game.
“She (Fessenden) is one of our leaders,” Coletta said. “We really feel confident when she’s in the circle that we have a good chance to win the game.
“Kayla is a great pitcher, but she has also really improved in her hitting. She’s now hitting for more power and leads our team in home runs with 10.”
Oakridge jumped on the Wildcats early in the title game, scoring two runs in the first inning. Fessenden had an RBI double to score Pastor and Halle Ruel singled to score Fessenden.
Montague had its only hits of the game in the second inning on back-to-back singles by Madison Carroll and Leah Webber, but couldn’t get on the scoreboard.
The Eagles added to their lead in the second with a 2-run single by Pastor and an RBI single by Fessenden.
Kylee Upson recorded a sac fly in the third inning, then Ruel and Upson each had RBI singles in the fourth to increase the Oakridge lead to 8-0.
Fessenden retired her 12th straight batter to end the top of the fifth inning, before launching the three-run homer to left-center field in the bottom half to end the game on the mercy rule.
Pastor had three hits and two RBIs, while Sophia Wiard added two hits and scored a run for Oakridge.