WALKERTON — For both teams, it was a game to grow on.
Plymouth claimed its first win after a rough start to the season, while John Glenn’s young squad got its first game under its belt as the Lady Pilgrims topped the Falcons 8-2 at Glenn Thursday.
“We generally don’t play very well over here so it was nice to come over here and get a win in Falconland,” said Plymouth head softball coach Ed Kelso. “The girls are staying in there. They’re giving us what they’ve got, and we’re ready for the rest of the season.”
“I have four freshmen and all of them start,” said Glenn head coach Jon Banks. “This is a big difference coming in and going right to the varsity level, and we haven’t had any games. It’s an eye-opener hopefully for them as much as for me as to what we need to work on.”
Plymouth racked up 12 hits at the plate, while pitcher Marissa Sullivan struck out 10 while surrendering just four hits backed up by a Pilgrims defense that allowed only one error on the night.
Plymouth scratched out a run off an RBI double from sophomore April Hampton that scored third baseman Cassie Gaines following her single for a 1-0 lead in the second, but the Pilgrims didn’t break it open until the order came around a third time against Falcons pitcher Jessie Bostic during a four-hit, three-run fifth.
Kristy Clemons led off the big inning with a ground single into left, then reached second on an error and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Wojcik. Lauren Kelso scored Clemons on a bad-hop grounder past short but was thrown out as catcher Emilee Keilman grounded into a fielder’s choice at third. Keilman scored in the next at-bat as Sullivan cranked a two-strike double all the way to the center field fence, reaching third on the late throw home to catch Keilman, and Kailey Whitley brought Sullilvan home with a single into center to give Plymouth a 4-0 cushion.
Once the hits started for Plymouth they didn’t stop as the Pilgrims scratched out two more runs in both the sixth and seven innings.
“If you see a pitcher more than three times in a game — I thought that was going to be the case for us, but it didn’t happen,” said Banks.
Everyone got on, and seven total Plymouth batters recorded hits at the game, including a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run by Wojcik and two singles apiece for two runs each by Gaines and Clemons.
Glenn put up a pair of runs in the sixth off a two-out, two-run double from freshman short stop Koral Mendenhall after first baseman Sarah Kosinski drew a lead-off walk and junior second baseman Katelyn Russell was hit by a pitch. Sullivan fanned the next two batters but couldn’t get the final out before Mendenhall lofted a 1-2 offering to right-center for the Falcons’ only runs of the game.
“She struggled the first two times at bat, and I was hoping the third time she’d get up there and give it a ride,” said Banks.
It was a heartening result for Sullivan and the Pilgrims, who had chances during an 0-4 start to the season but fell short of the win until Thursday.
“(Sullivan) did a nice job… and we made some good plays on defense behind her so hopefully we’ll get a little more confidence on the defensive side that hey, we can make the plays when we have to,” said Kelso. “Just an all around good game.”
• PLYMOUTH 8,
JOHN GLENN 2
Plymouth: 010 032 2 — 8 12 1
Glenn: 000 002 0 — 2 4 4
Marissa Sullivan (W, 1-3) and Emilee Keilman; Jessie Bostic (L, 0-1) and Amanda Bogard.
2B: Katie Wojcik 2 (P), Sullivan (P), Koral Mendenhall (G)
Records: Plymouth 1-4, Glenn 0-1.