Baldwin softball team splits with Crossroads

BALDWIN – It was a successful program debut for Crossroad's softball team on Thursday.

Coach Amanda Brown's first-year team opened its season at Baldwin with a 27-8 win in the opener of a West Michigan D League doubleheader. The game went three innings.

In the second game, Baldwin came back with a 21-6 victory in three innings.

In the opener, Megan Soller had two doubles and an inside-the-park home run to pace the Cougar attack. Ashley Soller had two doubles and a single. May Neal added two hits. Krista Allen, Sydney Balistis and Kayla Brooks also had singles for Crossroads.

Ashley Sollers went all three innings in the pitching circle for Crossroads and had a couple of strikeouts

“We played well, but there's always room for improvement,” said Brown. “They learned a lot of skills that you can't teach in practice. We learned a lot tonight.”

Kyrie Norman and Ashley Roy were both 2-for-2 for Baldwin in the opener. “We didn't get any at bats,” said Baldwin coach Bob Hilts. “We didn't play that well. The second game, they played much better.”

Brooks was the losing pitcher in the second game. The Cougars had just three hits.

“They learned how important is is to communicate,” Brown said. “As long as we keep learning, we'll be doing fine for the rest of the season.”

Freshman Rachel Groendyke pitched the first two innings of the second game for Baldwin and got the win.

“She'll be a good ballplayer, she made some good defensive plays,” said Hilts. “We slept through the first game. We woke up and started playing defense (the second game).”

Norman and Roy again had key hits in the second game. Norman added a bases loaded triple. Gracie Lemieux and Katie Bolles had two hits apiece.

“Katie caught the first game and did a good job,” Hilts said. “My normal catcher wasn't there and Katie did the job in the first game. Miranda Roberts caught the second game. She was excellent. She was blocking and would not let anything get by her.

“I was kind of disappointed the first game. We went out there and were flat. Kyrie and Ashley were stellar. But I was happy with the second game. We had to make some adjustments.”