Scots Sweep Brits In MIAA Opener

ALBION, Mich. - Alma picked up two consecutive wins 8-0 from the Albion College Britons, the second taking just six innings to move to 13-7, 2-0 in MIAA action.

In the first game, Alma won 8-0 over the Britons. Alma got on the board with a single run in the second, would add two more in the fifth and tacked on five insurance runs in the top of the seventh to win 8-0.

Kay McDonald (Rosebush/Mt. Pleasant) made the start on the mound for the Scots. She allowed just four hits on the day, including two to open the first inning for the Maroon and Cream. A double to right field led off the day and with one out, a single to right would move the Brits leadoff runner to third base. But McDonald stormed back, fooling the clean-up batter and catching Albion's shortstop looking to close out the first. It was the closest any Briton would get to scoring as McDonald struck out 13 and walked just one in a complete, seven-inning performance for her third shutout of the season.

Brittany Fales (Midland/Dow) led off the second inning with a walk as Houston Verbeck (Flint/Kearsley) stepped in with a shot down the left field line to knock in Fales for the first – and ultimately game-winning – run of the first of two games. Emily Blahnik (Corunna), Trista Geier (West Bloomfield/Walled Lake Western) and Taylor Erwin (Fenton) each ground out to shortstop to close out the inning.

The fifth inning was the next scoring action for the Scots. Geier led off with a ground out to short before Erwin had her second out of the day with an unsuccessful bunt. But Missy Morcom (Chelsea) stepped in, knocking a single to left field and taking second with a walk to Kasey Miller (Grand Ledge). Amy Gaudard (Mt. Pleasant) then carded her second hit of a 3-for-4 day at the plate, hitting a triple into left field to plate both Morcom and Miller and give the Scots a 3-0 lead with two outs in the fifth inning. Sarah Johnson (Portland) ground out to the pitcher for the last out of the fifth.

The seventh inning of the game saw Geier led off with a strikeout. Erwin then got her first hit of the day – a double into left field. Morcom singled up the middle and was able to take second on the throw from the outfield. Miller then stepped in with a single through the left side to score Erwin and move Morcom to third. With runners at the corners, Miller successfully stole second and with just one out, Gaudard returned to the plate, executing a bunt for a single, scoring Morcom and putting Miller at third. Gaudard stole second before Sarah Johnson took first on a fielding error by the shortstop, plating Miller. A new pitcher would come in with one out and Fales would load the bases when the third baseman made a fielding error. With the bases loaded, Verbeck was hit by a pitch to score Gaudard, unearned and keep the bases loaded. Blahnik got on base with a fielder's choice as the Britons got Johnson out before she scored but somehow Fales was able to score on Blahnik's at bat, unearned. Geier would make the final out of the inning, striking out for the second time of the inning.

Leading the Scots was Gaudard who went 3-for-4 with three RBI while Verbeck went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

The second game saw Alma win 8-0 in just six innings. Morcom led off the second game with a strikeout before Miller singled to left field, followed by a Gaudard single to put Miller on third base. Johnson ground out to shortstop to plate Miller and Fales singled to plate Gaudard, giving Alma a 2-0 lead before Verbeck flied out to right to close out the first.

For the game, Katie Koechling (Wheaton, Ill./North) threw a complete six-inning game, striking out seven and allowing just two hits in 20 batters faced.

In the second, Alma went three and out before tacking on three more runs in the third. Back at the top of the order, Morcom opened with a triple into right center and scored with a double from Miller, scoring from second on an error by the left fielder throwing into the infield. A pop fly by Gaudard was the first out and Johnson walked to give Alma a base runner. With a well-placed sacrifice bunt from Fales, Johnson moved to second and then stole third base. Verbeck the doubled to left center to plate Johnson before Blahnik struck out to end the inning.

The fourth inning saw a lead off walk issued to Sarah Seals (Alma). Erwin was out with a fouled bunt attempt and Morcom struck out. Miller stepped in with a single to move Seals along and then scored when an error at second allowed Miller to move to third and Seals to find home for the only run of the inning as Johnson popped up to the pitcher.

Another walk was issued to open the fifth for the Scots as Fales took fist. Verbeck singled and Blahnik sacrificed to move Fales and Verbeck. Seals sacrificed to score Fales before Erwin was out for the final out of the inning. The sixth-inning run by Missy Morcom was enough to send Alma up by 8-0 for the mercy rule. Morcom led off with a single, stole second and scored with a Gaudard single, to end the game stranded in the sixth inning.

Alma returns to action tomorrow (Wednesday) with a 2:30 game against Northwood at Scots Park in Alma.