04-18-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

BALL BATTLE… Coloma and Hartford battled on the soccer field Wednesday evening, April 10. Here, Coloma’s Abby Vandermolen (5) and Addy Kimmerly (9) work to thwart the effort of Hartford’s Abigail Lopez as time winds down during the first half of play with the score tied at 0. Coloma would score twice in the second half to seal the 2-0 shutout. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Hartford’s student-athletes returned from spring break with an active schedule of sporting events last week. In total, more than 10 games, meets and matches were contested, and many of them were very competitive until the very end.

Hartford Softball competes in seven games, goes 3-4 for the week

The Hartford Indian Varsity Softball team returned to the diamonds last week, after taking a 13-day break for spring vacation. The ladies split both of the first two doubleheaders of the spring, meaning they came into action at 2-2 on the young season. This year’s team has plenty of underclassmen dotting the roster. Every game that they can get will be incredibly helpful for later in the season and throughout the years to come.

BRINGING THE HEAT… In the second heat Saturday of the 100 meter preliminaries, Hartford sophomore Osvaldo Hernandez and Watervliet freshman Mason Pennington depart the blocks and set a frenzied pace. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

The Lady Indians began the week on Tuesday, Apr. 9, when they hosted rival Watervliet at the Indian Softball Diamond. Watervliet won game one, 15-10, before the Lady Indians took the nightcap, 11-3.

In game one, the Lady Panthers busted the game open with a seven-run second inning, capped by five run-scoring hits. The Lady Indians came back and made it interesting in the bottom of the third inning, when they scored four runs in the frame. The teams traded runs the rest of the way, and Watervliet went on to win the game by five runs.

Lainey Goodson took the mound loss for the Lady Indians, giving up 14 runs on 16 hits, while striking out three and walking one. Hartford managed 22 hits in the contest, including four hits from Megan Nelson, who ended 4-for-5 in game one at the plate. Goodson, Ariah Jordan, Mikenzie Chambers, Karlee Scherer, Jaelyne Galvan and Vanessa DeLaRosa also had multi-hit games. On defense, the Lady Indians committed five costly errors, but were led by DeLaRosa, who had eight chances in the field.

In game two, Hartford got out of the gate strong; as they scored two runs in the bottom half of the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead. After holding the Lady Panthers scoreless in the top half of the second, the Lady Indians put the game out of reach with six runs in the bottom half of the frame, courtesy of five run-scoring hits, to take a commanding 8-0 lead. Both teams would manage three more runs from there.

Karly Manning took the win in the circle for Hartford. She gave up three runs on seven hits, while striking out six Lady Panther batters. The Lady Indians tallied 16 hits in the contest, led by Jaelyne Galvan’s 4-for-4 evening at the plate. Vanessa DeLaRosa, Lainey Goodson, Karlee Scherer and Mikenzie Chambers also added multi-hit games. On defense, Hartford committed three errors, but was led in chances on the field by DeLaRosa, with six.

On Thursday, Apr. 11, the Lady Indians traveled to River Valley to take on a Lady Mustangs team coached by former Hartford alumnus, Dan Schaser. Like the preceding games before it, it was a split once again in this doubleheader. River Valley took game one by a close 7-6 margin; before Hartford held on to win game two, 10-8.

In game one, Hartford got the early lead by scoring once in the top half of the first inning, but they did not hold onto it long, as River Valley took control of the game with four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead for good. The Lady Indians trailed 7-3 going into the top of the sixth inning and scored three runs on a single and a triple in the frame, but could not get the tying run across the plate. They failed to score in the final inning, and lost by one run.

Lainey Goodson took the mound loss for the Lady Indians, pitching all six innings. She gave up seven runs on twelve hits, while walking one and striking out five. Goodson did her best to help her cause, going 3-for-4 at the plate, while teammate Destiny Chacon added another multi-hit game on offense for Hartford. On defense, the Lady Indians committed a total of five errors, but were led in the field by Vanessa DeLaRosa, who had five chances.

In game two, the Lady Indians scored early and often, and it started with an RBI groundout in the first inning to give them a 1-0 lead. The game was low-scoring early, but Hartford saved the biggest inning for later, when they scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning, courtesy of four run-scoring hits to pad their lead to 10-2. They needed every bit of it, as the Lady Mustangs plated six runs in the bottom half of the frame. But Lady Indian pitching and fielding was solid enough to hold on for the win in the end.

Karly Manning got the win in the circle for Hartford, courtesy of her complete game. She pitched all seven innings, giving up eight runs on thirteen hits, but managed just one walk and struck out eight. The Lady Indians mustered 16 hits, and had five players, including Lainey Goodson, Megan Nelson, Vanessa DeLaRosa, Manning and Jaelyne Galvan, score multi-hit games, with DeLaRosa, Nelson and Goodson each recording three hits. On defense, the Lady Indians had another five error affair.

On Saturday, Apr. 13, the Lady Indians traveled to Dowagiac to participate in the eight-team Chieftain Invitational. Hartford went 1-2 on the day. In game one, they fell to Elkhart Memorial out of Indiana, 9-1. In game two, Hartford went up against the host team, Dowagiac, and scored a 12-8 victory, and ended their day with an 8-0 loss in the third game of the afternoon against Bridgman.

At eleven games into the season, Hartford sits at 5-6 on the year, without playing in any Southwest 10 Conference games. That will change as the Indians are scheduled in a pair of conference doubleheaders. On Monday, Apr. 15, they will have hosted Eau Claire at the Indian Softball Diamond, before traveling to Bangor on Thursday, Apr. 18 to meet up with the Vikings. Check back next week to see how the team performed!

Hartford Girls Soccer falls to Coloma

The Hartford Indian Girls Soccer team had just one match on the docket after returning from spring vacation. The ladies came into action with a 1-1 record on the season, while outscoring their opponents by an 8-2 margin. Last week saw them take on an opponent from within the Tri-Cities, Coloma. These two schools have both built a tradition of excellence on the boys’ soccer side, and now look to build that same success on the girls’ side, as well.

In the match played on Wednesday, Apr. 10, Coloma got the better of Hartford, winning by a 2-nil score. The match was scoreless at halftime, before the Lady Comets picked up two goals in the final forty minutes to seal the deal and earn the victory. For the Lady Indians on the stat sheet, Abigail Lopez took a team-high three shots, and Mary Pultz kept her team in the game in goal, making eight saves.

Through three matches, Hartford sits at 1-2 on the season, and still has yet to play in any conference matches.

On Monday, Apr. 15, they will have traveled to South Haven to take on the Lady Rams, before hosting the Comstock Colts on Thursday, Apr. 18, at the home pitch.

Hartford track teams host annual Freshmen/ Sophomore Invitational

The Hartford Indian Track teams may have had one meet cancelled last week, but it saved the best for last. This past Saturday, Apr. 13, Hartford put on the 2019 version of the Hartford Freshmen/ Sophomore Invitational. This track meet, which has been held for the better part of four decades, gives underclassmen a chance to participate against peers in their own grade levels and earn some medals and ribbons along the way. This year’s event would be no different.

On the boy’s side, Hartford had only three participants competing in the meet. Despite that, all three athletes gave it their all and should be very proud on how well they competed against some of the area’s best.

On the girls’ side, Hartford placed 3rd in a field of 12 teams, scoring 69 total points. Standout performances included 1st place finishes by Khashya McCoy in the 300 meter hurdles, Nautica Covington in the shot put and the 3200 meter relay, which featured the team of Gillian Kuehnle, Jasmin Janicki, Jamie Smith and Marissa Solis.

The 400 meter relay team of Solis, Paris Rondo, Kuehnle and McCoy took home second place honors, and McCoy also took second place in the 100 meter hurdles. Third place finishes included Emma Weber in the discus and the 1600 meter relay, which featured the team of Kuehnle, Janicki, Smith and Solis.

The Hartford Athletic Department would like to send out a gigantic thank-you to all of the volunteers who came out on a Saturday to make this event so successful. Also, a thank-you goes out to the coaches, athletes and spectators who made this event memorable once again this year.

After hosting an event featuring just ninth and tenth graders, the full Hartford Indian track teams will return to action. Wednesday, Apr. 17, is the final home meet on the calendar, as Southwest 10 Conference counterparts Marcellus and Mendon made the trek to Hartford on “Senior Night” for a triangular meet. The track teams will finish the week on Friday, Apr. 19, when they make an appearance at the Watervliet Relays. Check back next week to see how the teams ran!

And, as always, Go Indians!

Press Box Player of the Week

By Dave Vollrath

Adiel Granados a senior at Coloma High School is this week’s TCR Press Box Player of the Week. Adiel is a four year letter winner in both track and cross country for the Comets. He is a standout runner and one of the top performers on the Coloma track squad. Adiel runs the middle distances and excels at the 800 and 1600 meter events. He has helped lead the Comet boys to a 4-0 record in this early track season, and has posted some outstanding times. He also was a first team all SAC conference selection on the cross country team last fall.