By Chris Zadorozny
Some great weather gave way to some great softball on Wednesday afternoon. In a doubleheader against the Truman Cougars the Anderson Titans rallied in Game 1 and held off a ferocious comeback in Game 2 to sweep the Cougars.
In the first game of the doubleheader, it looked as if it was going to be all Cougars, as they went up 6-1 after just two innings of play.
Senior shortshop, Jalen Bodrie got the second inning going with a double down the left field line, which was followed by a single from freshman pitcher Tiara Henderson. The Titans did get a quick out, but junior first baseman Chloe Herrera singled to score Bodrie and advance Henderson to second.
Leadoff hitter, senior second baseman Mikayla Smith doubled to center to score both Henderson and Herrra. Two batters later, junior first baseman Mariah Hopkins singled in Smith, and then scored on senior centerfielder, Lauren Shufeldt’s triple.
The Titans scrapped their way back though, scoring three in both the third and fourth innings to tie the game at seven, after the Cougars added another run in the third.
Leadoff senior shortstop, Bailey Fast singled to start the Titans’ third inning, and two batters later, Henderson walked sophomore first baseman Katelyn Shivel to put runners at first and second.
Following Shivel, sophomore catcher Allison Ortman was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sophomore outfielder Morgan Farrah hit a single following Ortman to bring in Fast and advance Ortman to second.
Ortman would score along with Farrah, after junior right-fielder Chelsea Crandall doubled to right-center to cut the lead to just three.
In the fourth inning, sophomore third baseman Brianna Defriny doubled to start the inning. Fast singled, and junior second baseman Marissa Laginess singled to score Defriny. Shivel singled in the next at-bat to bring home Laginess and Ortman would double to bring in Shivel to tie the game at seven.
It was a pitching duel from then on after freshman starter Maggie Piesz was pulled in favor of fellow freshman Mikalya Alexandrou.
Countering Piesz and Alexandrou for the Cougars were Henderson and senior Lindsey Howell, who relieved Henderson during the third inning.
Extra-innings were looking more likely as the game went on, but in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Titans found a way to win.
Junior Madison Small singled after Crandall flied out to start the inning. She stole second base during Defriny’s at-bat. Once Defriny made contact, she ran to third, and an error on the throw from Hopkins to freshman third baseman Alexa Bailey, allowed Small to head home and win it for the Titans, 8-7.
Titans head coach Eric Druchniak was very happy with his team’s comeback. “We battled back with the bats and put some streaks together, put some runs in and won in the bottom of the seventh,” said Druchniak. “It was 6-1, and 7-3, and then we tied it up, and we won it in the bottom of the 7th.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Titans jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back. Alexandrou started the scoring with a single in the second inning. With two outs, junior third baseman Celeste Black singled to advance Alexandrou to second and then took third on a passed ball in the next at-bat.
Senior outfielder Kayla Miletti singled to bring in Alexandrou to put the Titans up 1-0 early. Then, in the fifth inning, Fast singled with one out, followed by another single from Laginess. An error from senior third baseman Willow Daoust advanced both runners to third and second respectively.
Shivel brought them home with a single, and then she scored on two passed balls. It was now 4-0 heading into the seventh inning, and it seemed all was over for the Cougars, but they clawed their way back.
Hopkins started the bottom of the seventh inning with a single, but was out on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat. Because of the fielder’s choice, Shufeldt was safe at first and she would come around to score after three consecutive singles from Bailey, Henderson, and Daoust.
With runners at first and second, it was now 4-2 after Henderson scored. Senior outfielder Autumn Wurts doubled in Bailey and brought the tying run to third and the game-winning run to second. Smith grounded out to the pitcher to end the threat and the game.
Cougars head coach Jeana Turcheck wasn’t happy with the result, but optimistic about her team. “We get on them early and then we just get into a slump, and we just kind of relax, and just kind of go with the motions,” Turcheck said. “I know this team has more in them, and I’m just waiting for them to get on top and stay on top.”
The Cougars host Woodhaven on Monday while the Titans travel to Grand Blanc for the Michigan Stars tournament over the weekend.
To read the original post that appeared in the Downriver News-Herald on May 1, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald