Tecumseh powers up to start season on 8-1 run
By MICKEY ALVARADO
Down but not out might be a good mantra for Tecumseh’s varsity softball team this season with the Indians’ bats getting them out of some tight situations for an 8-1 start.
To open the season the Indians warmed up with a relatively easy 5-1, 12-0 non-conference sweep over visiting Onsted on Wednesday, April, 11 but had to claw its way to a pair of wins over Blissfield the very next day, Thursday, April 12.
Tecumseh came from behind to force an international tiebreaker in game one against Blissfield and went on to win the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with one more run scored than the Royals.
Once she got her girls on base, coach Kristalyn Musselman pushed things to the limit with aggressive base running and forced the other team to make defensive plays.
“We’re definitely a good offensive team,” said Musselman. “If we get down we’re never out. We’re very resilient.”
The trio of pitchers the Indians use has also been effective with their styles different enough to keep batters guessing.
“We have a very strong pitching staff,” said Musselman. “They’re very different pitchers. All three are completely different and compliment each other well.”
Fielding has been an issue at times with some long hit balls getting away or a bobble or two on the infield, however Musselman believes errors will be much reduced as the season progresses.
“I’m ok with us making mistakes early in the season,” she said. “We just need to tighten up our defense, especially when they have runners threatening to score.”
Over the weekend, on Saturday, April 14 at Mitchell Park, the Indians hosted its annual invitational and went 3-0 to pick up the title.
Tecumseh opened with a huge 23-2 victory over Airport with junior Emily Maves pitching (4 IP, 2 runs, 0 ER, 3 hits, 3 K's, 3 BB's).
The Indians’ leading hitters included Courtney LaVoy (2-3, grand slam HR, 4 RBI, 4 runs scored), Maves (2-3, grand slam HR, 5 RBI), Mattie Wright (2-3, 2 run HR, double), Kylie Hill (2-3, 2 RBI), Sam Diehl (2-2, double, 2 RBI) and Sarah Harrison (2-2, double).
In game two, senior Alli Watson earned her second pitching win (2-0) in four innings of work (2 runs, 1 earned, 4 hits, 1 BB, 2 K's) against Dakota with an 8-4 Tecumseh victory. Bailee Crots recorded a save (2 IP, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 0 BB, 2 K's).
Tecumseh’s leading hitters were Kelsey Rendell (3-4, 2 RBI), Kelsea Kaliszuk (3-4, 3 RBI), Katie Martin (2-4), Diehl (double) and Wright (double).
Maves (4 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 8 K's) improved to 4-0 with a 6-3 victory against Blissfield in game three.
Leading the Indians at the plate were McKenzie Rowe (2-3), LaVoy (1-2, RBI) and Kaliszuk (1-2, 2 RBI).
At home against Blissfield in game one on Thursday, Watson was Tecumseh’s starting pitcher (4 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K's) but Crots earned the eight-inning win (4 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K's).
Sarah Harrison (1-4) recorded a game-winning RBI on a double in the bottom of the eighth inning that scored Kylie Hill from second base.
In the nightcap, Maves (5 IP, 3 hits, 6 unearned runs, 5 BB, 6 K's) was Tecumseh’s starting pitcher while Watson (2 IP, 1 hit, 1 BB, 2 K's) went in on relief.
Tecumseh was down 6-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning and scored six runs on six hits to take a 7-6 lead. The Indians added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on four more hits to secure the win.
Kaliszuk turned in a 4-for-4 effort at the plate with two doubles while Martin went 3-for-4 with two triples. Also producing hits were Tecumseh’s Hill (2-4, triple), Maves (2-3), McKenzie Rowe (2-4), Sam Diehl (double), Kaileigh Burkhard and LaVoy.
In their season opener at home against Onsted, Watson (6 IP, 7 K's) was the winning pitcher.
LaVoy (2-4), Rowe (2-4), Kaliszuk (2-3) and Harrison (2-2) recorded hits for the Indians.
Maves (5 IP, 4 K's) earned the pitching win in game two.
Recording hits for Tecumseh were Diehl (3-3, double, 3 RBI), Harrison (2-2, double, RBI), and Burkhard (2-2, 2 RBI).
On Monday at Saline, The Indians split with the Hornets, falling 5-4 in game one but winning the nightcap 13-11.
Watson was handed the loss in the circle, pitching five innings and allowing five earned runs on 11 hits while walking one and striking out one. Crots finished the game in relief.
Leaders at the plate included LaVoy (3-4, double, 2 stolen bases), Kaliszuk (2-4, RBI), Martin (1-3, triple), Wright (2-4), Rowe (1-3, RBI) and Diehl (1-3, RBI).
Maves picked up the win in game two after four innings in the circle. She allowed four runs, two earned, on six hits while walking four and striking out three.
Kelsey Smith went in on relief, allowing seven runs on 10 hits while walking none and striking out one.
Recording hits were Tecumseh’s LaVoy (4-5, RBI), Kaliszuk (2-3), Maves (1-1, double, 3 RBI), Rowe (1-3, 2 RBI), Diehl (2-4, triple), Karly Smith (1-3, double, RBI), Wright (2-4), Kelsey Rendell (1-1, triple), Burkhard (1-5, (RBI) and Martin (1-4).