2018-04-16 / Sports

North Branch softball off to strong start

By Sports Staff

The North Branch softball team celebrates as Olivia Sweeney crosses homeplate after smacking a home run against LakeVille on Thursday at North Branch. 
Photo by Lisa Paine The North Branch softball team celebrates as Olivia Sweeney crosses homeplate after smacking a home run against LakeVille on Thursday at North Branch. Photo by Lisa Paine NORTH BRANCH — The Broncos cruised past LakeVille on Thursday at home, taking both ends of the doubleheader. The Lady Broncos won 12-2 in the early game and closed out the night with a 26-4 win in the second game.

Both teams were held even at 1-1 after the opening inning before North Branch started to pull away, driving in four in the second, two in the fourth and one in the fifth while LakeVille’s second run came in the third.

Maeson Schlaud was in the circle for North Branch, sitting down 13 batters while giving up just one hit and two runs. Reese Ruhlman led the way for the Broncos offensively, tallying three hits, including a grand slam. Olivia Sweeney also had three hits and an RBI. Autumn Deshetsky and Schlaud had a pair of hits each and Schlaud had two RBI. Claire Lyons added a hit and Lily Ragatz had two RBI.

For LakeVille in Game One, Makayla Gerow earned the loss on the mound, allowing 10 runs (eight earned) and three walks while striking out three batters in 3-2/3 innings. LakeVille left the first inning locked in a 1-1 tie after Allison Mancsuga belted a double to drive in Emily Coleman, who was on first after a walk. Mancsuga ended the day 1-for-2 from the plate with an RBI.

North Branch stayed hot in the second game, grabbing a 5-3 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. The Broncos then added seven in the second, one in the third and 12 in the fourth to end the game. LakeVille added just one more run in the fourth.

Taylor Williams was the winning pitcher for North Branch and gave up just three hits and four runs while striking out one. North Branch had 26 hits on the game with 10 girls connecting at least once. Deshetsky and Ruhlman led from the plate, with Deshetsky driving in four runs on four hits and Ruhlman tallying four RBI on three hits. Ragatz had three hits and three RBI and Williams also had three hits and drove in two. Kira DeOrnellos drove in three runs on a pair of hits. Charlise Hyde, Sweeney, Bri DeMeyer and Amy Ludescher each connected twice and had an RBI.

In Game Two, LakeVille's Haley Lauria started and ultimately earned the loss, allowing 21 runs (11 earned) in three innings. Lauria also help LakeVille offensively, going 1-for-2 with a two-run RBI double. Brie Macsuga went 1-for-1 with a walk, and Madison McGinn went 1-for-3 with an RBI double.

The Lady Broncos opened the season with a dominant performance over Clio, winning the early game 12-5 and closing out the doubleheader with a 14-4 win.

Schlaud went the distance from the circle in the first game, giving up nine hits and four walks while striking out 10. Ruhlman tallied a pair of homers and four RBI to lead the Broncos. Deshetsky had two hits, including a homerun, two RBI and a stolen base. Emily Ludescher and Keyahna Bryant had two hits and an RBI each. Ragatz added two hits and Sweeney had one and two RBI.

In the late game, Williams pitched five innings, striking out two and allowing four hits, six walks and an earned run. Offensively, North Branch had 10 girls account for 17 hits. Deshetsky led with three hits and an RBI. Ragatz had a pair of hits and three RBI. Ruhlman also had two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Hyde, DeMeyers and Williams added two hits each. Bryan, Amy Ludescher, Bailey Good and Sweeney had one hit each.

North Branch, 4-0, hosted Goodrich on Friday following press deadlines and will travel to Frankenmuth on Wednesday. — K.R./J.O.

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