On the most beautiful day of this year so far, the Dragons came out ready to play league foe Linden. They easily won the opener, but struggled early in the nightcap before coming back from a 4 run deficit to win the game. They improved their league & overall record to 3-1.
Swartz Creek 11 Linden 0
In the opener the Dragons quickly retired Linden in order in the top of the 1st inning. Tabby Miller led off with a walk, then stole 2nd base, before advancing to 3rd base on a wild pitch. Hailey Fox drew a walk and then stole 2nd base. With runners on 2nd & 3rd Hayley Cruthers hit a hard line drive right at the shortstop who doubled off Miller on 3rd base. And that ended the scoring threat in the 1st inning with no score.
Linden had a player reach base on error, but she would be stranded at 1st base. The Dragons Lauren Adas was walked with 1 out advancing to 2nd on a wild pitch, and 3rd on a passed ball, then scored on another wild pitch. Lauren Black was walked, then advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, but that's where she would be stranded as the inning came to a close with the Dragons up 1-0.
Linden led off the 3rd with a single, but 2 strikeouts and an infield fly would end the scoring threat.
Hailey Fox singled with 1 away in the bottom of the 3rd advancing to 2nd and 3rd on a wild pitch and passed ball before Cruthers smashed her first home run of the season to the opposite field to increase the Dragons lead to 3-0. The inning then ended.
Linden got their 2nd hit of the game with a 1 out single, but she was thrown out attempting to steal by Creek catcher Lauren Adas to shortstop Cruthers. Adas then led off the bottom of the 4th with another walk advancing to 2nd on a wild pitch. Lauren Black reached 2nd base on a long fly ball error by the left fielder that advanced Adas to 3rd base. Pinch hitter Jamie Perigo singled to center field scoring Adas moving Black to 3rd before advancing to 2nd base on the throw to the plate. Ashley Dusseau pinch hit and reached base on an error that also scored Black and Perigo before advancing to 2nd on the throw. Tabby Miller singled pushing Dusseau to 3rd base and then stole 2nd base. Dusseau scored on a wild pitch that sent Miller to 3rd.
With Cruthers at the plate, the Dragons caught everybody by surprise perfectly executing a suicide squeeze bunt easily scoring Miller with Cruthers beating the throw to 1st by a couple steps. Cruthers stole 2nd. An opposite field double by Pletscher scored Cruthers. AJ Brookman then hit a towering home run over the center field fence scoring her and Pletscher. The inning would come to an end with the Dragons up 11-0.
2 strikeouts and a flyout later the game would end by run rule 11-0.
Pletscher pitched the entire game only allowing 2 hits with 9 strikeouts. Cruthers led the offense with 2 hits including a home run, 3 RBIs, and scored 2 runs. Pletscher added an RBI with a double & run scored. Brookman had a home run and 2 RBIs. Adas walked twice, had a hit, and scored 2 runs.
Swartz Creek 10 Linden 7
The Dragons would be the away team in the nightcap. Cruthers crushed a 2-out home run, her second of the day, to center field and that would be the end of the scoring in the top of the inning with Creek up 1-0.
With 2 outs Linden rallied beginning with hit by pitch, who then advanced to 2nd on a passed ball. A double scored the runner as the inning ended tied at 1-1.
Black hit a 2-out single in the top of the 2nd, but would be stranded. Linden went scoreless in the bottom of the inning. The Dragons went down in order in the top of the 3rd.
And that's when the "bad inning" happened. Linden took advantage of 6 Dragon errors and a double to score 4 runs to take a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the 3rd.
Cruthers led off the 4th inning with an intentional walk followed by a line drive single by Pletscher to put runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs. The runners both moved up on a wild pitch, then Cruthers scored on a wild pitch with Pletscher moving to 3rd. And then Brookman smacked her 2nd home run on the day scoring Pletscher. Black doubled with 1 away. Hanna Sayles came into pinch run for Black. But, she would be stranded with the Dragons down 4-5 heading into the bottom of the 4th inning.
Linden bounced back with a run with a hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt, and single to increase their lead to 6-4.
Miller led off the 5th with a single, then stole 2nd base. Fox grounded out while moving Miller to 3rd. On an odd at-bat that looked like Cruthers would be intentionally walked again, a 2-0 count the Linden pitcher threw a pitch just over the plate in which Cruthers hit a rocket line drive just missing the pitcher up the middle for a single that scored Miller. Cruthers advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch before Pletscher hit her 2nd double of the day to score Cruthers. The inning came to a close with the Dragons regaining the lead 7-6.
Linden was retired in order in the bottom of the inning as were the Dragons in the top of the 6th.
In the top of the 7th inning Miller led off with a single before stealing 2nd base yet again. Fox followed with a single that put runners on the corners. Cruthers singled again scoring Miller and moving Fox to 2nd base. A sacrifice fly by Pletscher moved Fox to 3rd, but an errant throw to 3rd scored Fox and moved Cruthers to 2nd base. And the inning ended with Creek up 10-6.
Linden used a walk, fielder's choice, wild pitch, and single to score 1 more run in the bottom of the 7th before Pletscher struck out the last batter to win the game 10-7.
Brookman pitched 4 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 3 hits with 3 strike outs. Pletscher came in relief pitching 3 innings allowing 1 earned run on 2 hits with 4 strikeouts. Cruthers led the offense again going 3 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBIs, and scored 4 runs. Brookman homered with 3 RBIs. Miller, Pletscher, and Black each had 2 hits including doubles by Pletscher and Black.
Next up for the Dragons is a trip to league opponent Lapeer West on Thursday. With the weather that forced 16 of the first 18 games to be cancelled, it is a bit strange that the Dragons first 3 double headers are Flint Metro League games. But, that's just how it worked out this year. The defense in the second game wasn't bad except for that "one bad inning". The Dragons showed some character coming from behind to win the nightcap. And there was a lot of life in the bats all day long. Time will tell, but it was great to be outside in the sunshine on this beautiful night for softball.