Calvin Softball Sweeps Franklin In Season Opener

Calvin Softball Sweeps Franklin In Season Opener

FRANKLIN, Ind. - In a rematch of a 2018 NCAA III Tournament meeting, Calvin opened its 2019 campaign with a doubleheader sweep at Franklin. In a first round NCAA III Tournament game last spring, Calvin defeated the Grizzlies 3-0. On Tuesday, Calvin kept up its winning ways by downing Franklin by scores of 5-4 and 6-0. 

Calvin 5, Franklin 4

Ranked 25th nationally, Calvin used a 12-hit attack to pull out the victory against Franklin. The Knights led 3-1 and later 5-3 but the Grizzles scored on a two-out hit in the bottom of the seventh to make it a one-run game and then loaded the bases. On a 3-2 pitch, Franklin's Taylor Bounin smashed a ball to short that Calvin senior Kristen Newman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea HS) was able to knock down and flip to second baseman Hannah Horvath (Caledonia, Mich./Caledoni HS) just in time for the game-winning putout.

Newman, freshman Hannah Biddlecome (Portage, Mich./Portage Northern HS), junior Kayla Groen (Frankfort, Il./Lincoln Way East HS) and senior Maddie DeGroot (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) all had two hits apiece. Junior Abi Colon (Caledonia, Mich./South Christian HS) also had a run-scoring double. Groen had a clutch RBI single in the fifth that gave the Knights a 4-3 lead. Horvath scored the eventual winning run on a stole base and throwing error in the sixth.

Senior Anna Gernant (West Des Moines, Ia./Valley HS) went the first 3.2 innings in the circle. Sophomore Bri Leegwater (Zeeland, Mich./Holland Christian HS) came on in relief to pick up the win. Leegwater scattered three hits in 3.1 innings of work.

Calvin 6, Franklin 0

Calvin blasted 13 hits including a solo home run by Kristen Newman to roll to the shutout victory. Sophomore Ellie Borst (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian HS) was superb in the circle, tossing a four-hit shutout that included seven strikeouts. Maddie DeGroot had three hits and three RBI including a two-run single in the first. Newman was 3-for-3 at the dish with two RBI including her solo home run to center in the third. Colon had two hits as did junior Grace Quiggle (Saranac, Mich./Lowell HS).

COACHES QUOTE: "We were really happy to finally get outside and get two wins over a quality Franklin team. Since we have not had practice outside or played on dirt or grass since fall ball I just reminded our team that they've played a lot of softball and to just go out there have fun. We set a few goals yesterday and one was to be agressive early at the plate and I think we did that with double-digit hits in both games. Our defense played solid and attacked all balls hit at us which was another goal of ours. With our pitching, I thought we really showed have a true pitching staff and Anna Bri and Allie just focused on hitting their spots and ledtting the defense back them up. We certainly have things to clean up and more work to do but I am pleased with the start heading into spring break."

NEXT UP: Calvin faces Illinois Wesleyan Saturday at 3:45 p.m. in Clermont, Florida, followed by a 6 p.m. contest against Linfield. Illinois Wesleyan is ranked second in the latest NFCA Division III Top 25 poll while Linfield is ranked 13th.