The Dragons went on another road trip down to Clarkston to play a non-conference double-header. The weather was beautiful again. The ladies dropped the first game, but bounced back nicely in the nightcap to earn a split.
Swartz Creek 3 Clarkston 9
In the opener leadoff hitter Hayley Cruthers received essentially a base on balls due to catcher's interference (she hit the catcher's glove during a swing in which she hit the ball foul). Cruthers would be stranded.
The lead-off hitter for Clarkston reached base on an error. A sacrifice bunt moved her to 2nd. With 2 outs Creek catcher Lauren Adas threw out the runner attempting to steal 3rd to Ashley Dusseau.
Dusseau was hit by a pitch with 1 away and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, but would also be stranded. A lead-off double for Clarkston and another error gave Clarkston the first run of the game. With 1 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd a ground ball was hit to the shortstop Cruthers who fired the ball home to Adas who tagged the runner out at the plate. A double for Clarkston scored a run, but cutoff Cruthers threw out another girl trying to score to Adas at the plate. The Dragons made it out of the inning only down 1-0.
The score remained the same through the middle of the 4th when Clarktson led off with a single. A bunt single put runners on the corners. 3 hits, a couple bunts, and a couple errors later the Dragons found themselves down 8-0. Phoebe Cross came into the game as a relief pitcher, which was her first appearance on the Varsity team. She worked out of a jam keeping the score 8-0.
The Dragons went down again in order in the top of the 5th. An error, single, and walk put another run on the board for Clarkston now up 9-0.
In the top of the 6th with 1 out Cruthers ripped a hard single for the first hit of the game for the Dragons and advanced to 2nd on an errant throw by the left fielder. AJ Brookman hit the ball sharply to the right fielder for a sacrifice fly moving Cruthers to 3rd, but would be stranded again.
Clarkston changed pitchers in the 7th inning with the comfortable lead. The Dragons rallied with a 1 out walk to Adas. Dusseau reached base on an error. Jamie Perigo walked to load the bases. Emily Rodriguez ripped a long double over the right fielder's head emptying the bases giving Creek 3 runs. She advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch. With 2 outs and the score 9-3 Clarkston decided to intentionally walk Cruthers to pitch to Brookman, which paid off as the Dragons comeback ended with a strikeout (But she would have her way in the nightcap!)
Brookman started the game on the mound for Creek with Cross coming into relieve her. It was a tough game for pitchers with sloppy defense behind them. The Dragons only had 2 hits, the single by Cruthers and the 3-RBI double by Rodriguez. Cruthers also had 2 walks.
Swartz Creek 6 Clarkston 3
Phoebe Cross took the mound for Creek in the nightcap keeping Clarkston off the scoreboard in the top of the 1st as the Dragons were the Home team. And the ladies looked a little more determined and focused in the second game for some reason.
Hayley Cruthers & Sydney Hasselbach
Travel Teammates for several years with Finesse Fastpitch
Cruthers brought some energy to the batter's box hitting a rocket line drive opposite field double to get things rolling for Creek. Hailey Fox was hit by a pitch with 1 out to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Lauren Black singled scoring Cruthers, while Fox was tagged out at 3rd. Adas singled moving Black to 2nd. Perigo came into courtesy run for the catcher Adas. Dusseau reached base on an error that scored Black and moved Perigo to 3rd and Dusseau down to 2nd. They would be stranded, but the Dragons had a 2-0 lead and had 3 hits already, which was more than they had in the opener versus the same pitcher.
The defense kept Clarkston off the scoreboard in the 2nd inning. Cruthers hit the ball hard and reached base on an error. Brookman doubled moving Cruthers to 3rd. Black was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Unfortunately the Dragons would leave the bases loaded hanging onto a 2-0 lead.
Clarkston got on the board on a single, sacrifice bunt, and an error cutting the lead to 2-1.
Dusseau led off the bottom of the 3rd with a walk. Tabby Miller bunt singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. They too would be stranded.
Brookman led off the bottom of the 4th with a line drive home run to center field, her 4th on the season. Fox reached base on an error. Black also reached base on an error and fielder's choice that forced Fox out at 2nd and then advanced to 2nd on that same error. Perigo came into pinch run for Black. Adas singled moving Perigo to 3rd. And they also would be stranded with the Dragons now up 3-1.
A couple hits and a sacrifice bunt gave Clarkston another run cutting the lead to 3-2 in the middle of the 5th. Rodriguez led off with a walk for the Dragons in the bottom of the 5th. Miller sacrificed bunted Rodriguez to 2nd. With 2 outs Cruthers hit another rocket single scoring Rodriguez. Brookman came to the plate and with 2 strikes hit the same pitch, a changeup, that fooled her at the end of the first game a mile high and well over the left field fence for her 5th homer on the season scoring herself and Cruthers. The Dragons would take a 6-2 lead into the top of the 6th inning.
Clarkston would score another run in the top of the 7th, but would not catch the Dragons with the final score 6-3. Cross scattered 7 hits with 3 strikeouts allowing 2 runs with no walks. The Dragons offense was led by Brookmans 2 Home Runs and double, 3 RBIs, and scored 2 runs. Cruthers had 2 hits including a double, RBI, and scored twice. Adas had 2 hits. Black had a hit, RBI, and scored. Dusseau had a triple and RBI. Miller also had a hit.
The Dragons will play in the Michigan Stars Tourney this weekend in Grand Blanc with their first game at 9:30am versus North Farmington High School.