BRIDGMAN — The Bridgman-River Valley softball rivalry was renewed in style on Monday, April 26.
The teams battled through six scoreless innings before the visiting Mustangs tallied the BCS White Division game’s only run in their half of the seventh.
Hanah Lynch’s two-out double (the first base hit off Bee starter Natalie McNeil) was followed by Lexi McCarty’s liner that plated the winning run.
“I just needed a base hit to get her in, and it worked,” McCarty said.
Macey Springer got two strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh inning ahead of a game-ending fly ball to center fielder Kursten Smith that sealed the narrow victory. Springer ended up yielding three hits (a double to Peyton Oman and singles off the bats of Bella Gearhart and Hannah Johnson) while striking out 10 and walking one.
“I knew that my defense was going to have my back, so I had to do my job and they would do theirs,” Springer said.
McNeil allowed just the two seventh-inning hits while striking out 11 and issuing one walk.
Bridgman (9-1) was coming off an April 23 sweep of Lake Michigan Catholic by 12-0 and 18-0 scores.
McNeil fired a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in the opener. Johnson had a double, two singles and three RBI while Arie Hackett had a triple, a single and an RBI.
Gearhart scattered two hits while fanning five in the nightcap. Top hitters included Emme Slavens hitting for the cycle with three RBI, Hackett with two triples, two doubles and two runs batted in, McNeil with a double, a single and three RBI, Gearhart with two hits and three runs batted in, Kaylee Shuler with two hits and an RBI, Johnson with a double, a single and an RBI, and Oman with a double and a run driven in. The Bees finished with 19 hits.
River Valley (6-3) took two from Lawrence by 11-1 and 12-3 scores on April 23.
Springer scattered two hits while striking out 11. Smith finished with three hits while Ava Holub had two.
McCarty was the winning pitcher in game two while also collecting three hit s and an RBI. Springer also finished with three hits.
The Mustangs and Bees also met in an April 26 BCS White Division baseball game, with Bridgman pulling away late to prevail 5-1.
Jayce Warren and Nate Necas combined to pitch a no-hitter for the home team while Tanner Peters smacked a two-run double during a three-run sixth inning.
“We just stuck in there, we battled,” Peters said. “It was tough but we pulled through.”
Bridgman’s first run scored in the second inning when Dylan Reisig singled, stole his way to third base and came home on a passed ball.
“Our pitching and our execution was phenomenal,” said Bridgman coach Justin Hahaj. “We moved runners over when we had to, we manufactured runs.”