The Dragons beat another pre-season ranked team tonight in the opener versus Clarkston and made the second game really interesting with runners in scoring position in the bottom of the 7th before coming up short. But, they played a pretty good game and received praise from the Clarkston coach at the end of the handshakes.
Swartz Creek 5 Clarkston 2
The opening game was scoreless through the end of 3. In the top of the 4th Clarkston got on the board with a couple singles and sacrifice bunts taking the 1-0 lead. The Dragons answered in the bottom of the 4th as AJ Brookman singled to lead off the inning. Hanna Sayles came into courtesy run and stole second base. Lauren Adas smacked a double to score Sayles, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ashlyn Beck singled to score Adas. Andrea Aldridge bunted and reached base on error with Beck moving to third on the play. Aldridge stole second base. Carah Pletscher singled to score Beck and push Aldridge to third. Emily Weekly pinch ran for Pletscher and stole second base. Hayley Cruthers singled scoring Weekly and Aldridge and advanced to third base on the throw before the Dragons inning came to an end with a 5-1 lead.
Brookman and Beck would single in the following innings, but did not score for Creek. Clarkston scored once in the top of the 7th, but that was it and that was enough for the Dragon victory.
Brookman pitched the entire game for the Dragons scattering 7 hits and allowing 2 earned runs, while getting the win.
Clarkston 3 Swartz Creek 2
Clarkston took an early lead in the nightcap on a double, wild pitch, and passed ball to go up 1-0. Cruthers singled in the 1st, but was caught stealing for the first time before the inning ended.
The game remained 1-0 through the top of the 4th. In the bottom half of the inning Cruthers lead off with a single. Gabby Deering reached base on error and Cruthers ended up on third on the same error. Michaela Krusina hit a hard ground ball that nearly made it through to the outfield, but the shortstop nabbed the ball and Cruthers was tagged out in the pickle. AJ Brookman was intentially walked to load the bases in hopes of a force out. But, Hailey Fox battled for a walk to bring Weekly into score and tie the game before the inning ended with Creek leaving the based loaded.
2 singles and a wild pitch resulted in another Clarkston run giving them the lead 2-1 after 4 1/2. Clarkston picked up another run in the top of the 7th on two singles before a wild double play ended the inning between Brookman (pitcher), Cruthers (shortstop), and Adas (catcher).
The Dragons were down 3-1 in the 7th. Sayles reached base on error with 1 out. With 2 outs Cruthers hit her second triple of the season to score Sayles. But, Creek would strand their last base runner on third as a nice running catch by the outfielder stopped a Deering hit from evening the score.
The lady's have a bit of a break with no games this weekend. They start their Metro League campaign Monday at Linden.
Below are Sydney Hasselbach of Clarkston and Hayley Cruthers of Swartz Creek. The two were teammates the past two years with Finesse Fastpitch. The two are still in the Finesse club and often practice together, but are on different teams this season.