CROWN POINT, IN – The Heat traveled to Crown Point Indiana last week to compete in the National Softball Association Girls Fast Pitch World Series. The girls battled through seven games going 4-3 in the series finishing seventh place overall.
The Heat got started Thursday morning when they faced the Outsider’s A team from Indiana. The Outsiders struck first scoring once in the bottom of the first and picking up three runs in the second. The Heat picked up a single run in the top of the third, but was unable to get any closer, eventually losing 4-1. Both pitchers were sharp in the game. Mid Michigan was had three hits, two by Meagan Ferrell and one by Alaina Nuebecker. Rachel Mecca surrendered only six hits for the Heat.
Next up for the Heat was the Riptide on Thursday evening. The Heat scored the only run they would need in the first inning as Megan Haskell threw a two hitter and shutout the Riptide. The Heat broke the game open with five runs in the third inning. After a ground out to start the inning they pounded out seven straight hits, including a homerun by Grace Simpson, to take a 6-1 lead. A homerun by Nuebecker in the fourth made the score 8-0 which turned out to be the final score. Mid Michigan collected 10 hits in the game. Abby Manges, Grace Chinavare and Neubecker had two a piece. Manges, Simpson, and Neubecker each had two RBIs.
Mid Michigan stayed hot on Friday picking up a 6-2 win over the Garden City Gators. The Gators jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, a lead that they held until the Heat tied it up in the fourth. The Heat took the lead for good with four runs in the fifth inning. Neubecker tripled and Haskell doubled in the inning. Mecca was back in the circle giving up five hits, but no earned runs, while striking out two. Maddy Bass and Haskel each had two hits with Haskell driving in two runs.
The Heat made it three wins in the row on Saturday morning when they beat the Invaders 5-1. The game was tied at 1-1 when Mid Michigan came up to bat in the top of the sixth. Back to back singles by Mecca and Neubecker to open the inning. After a pop out and strike out the Heat were in danger of stranding both runners before Simpson singled to load the bases. Mae Guzman followed with a hit to score both Mecca and Neubecker before Simpson was thrown out at the plate ending the inning. Two more runs in the seventh made the final score 5-1. Guzman, Haskell and Mecca had two hits in the game. Roz Hernandez and Guzman each had two RBIs. Mecca went the distance striking out six in seven innings.
Great pitching and good hitting by the Storm-Elite proved to be too much for the Heat in their second game on Saturday. They were able to manage only three hits in a 9-0-shutout loss. Bass, Hernandez and Manges picked up the Heat hits. Haskell and Mecca split the pitching duties.
Saturday’s third game pitted the Heat against the Hobart Steelers. Mid Michigan took a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning before the Steelers tied it up setting the stage for some late inning fireworks. Each team scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before the Steelers scored in the top of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. Grace Chinavare was placed at second to start the bottom of the inning. Meagan Ferrell laid down a sacrifice bunt moving Chinavare to third with one out. The next batter, Katie Chinavare walked giving the Heat runners at first and third with one out. Katie stole second breaking up the double play possibility, which was a good move because the next batter, Manges, hit a ground ball to the shortstop driving in Grace and moving Katie to third. Simpson followed with a single driving in Katie and giving Mid Michigan the walk off win. Haskell and Mecca again split the pitching duties with Mecca picking up the win in relief.
The tournament ended for the Heat on Saturday night when they lost to the Illinois Stars 10-0. Four games in one day proved to be too much for the Heat pitching staff as they gave up 13 hits in the game. Simpson, Guzman, Haskell, Bass, Hernandez and Katie Chinavare all had hits for the Heat.
At 18-5 it’s been a successful season so far for the Heat. They return to action on Saturday when they travel to Corunna for a pair of games with the Millington Cardinals at 8 a.m. and the Tri Valley Twisters at 9:30 a.m.