05-04-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma hampers Hartford baseball with two wins

 Both cards of Thursday, April 27’s game between the Comets of Coloma and Indians of Hartford went to Coloma. The Comets outhit the Indians to reach 6-2 and 5-2 victories.

In the early contest, Coloma led 1-0 after the second inning. Both squads scored one run in the third inning. Coloma added one run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. The teams each added a run in the sixth giving Coloma the 6-2 win.

Calvin Starnes pitched a complete game for Coloma. He allowed two runs on three hits. He struck out nine and walked two. Starnes picked up his fourth victory of the season.

Hunter Ackerman took the mound and the loss for Hartford. He pitched five and two-thirds inning, allowing six runs on eight hits. Ackerman struck out one and walked two. Jake Griffith came in in relief and pitched one and one-third innings. He did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out one.

Coloma was led at the plate by Mathew Kelley; he hit two doubles. Danny Najacht stroked a single and double, while Grant Kroschel hit two singles.

In the late game, Coloma won 5-2. Kelley pitched a complete six-inning game for Coloma. He allowed two runs on six hits. He fanned 10 batters and walked four.  Kelley’s record is 2-4.

Luke Manning and Griffith teamed up on the mound, with Manning taking the loss. Manning pitched five innings; he allowed five runs on six hits. He struck out two batters and walked three. Griffith’s one inning of work resulted in one hit and one batter walked.

Kroschel hit three singles for Coloma. Dylan LeClear ripped two singles and scored two runs.

Hartford was led by Griffith and Manning. Both players hit two singles.

BATTLE FOR THE BALL… Watervliet’s Emma Kraklau and Hartford’s Mariel Hallgren bat-tle for the ball during the squads’ conference matchup on April 24. Hartford scored the 6-2 victory over the visiting Panthers. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Hartford hits hard against Watervliet soccer

 Hartford hosted SAC – Lakeshore Division foe Watervliet to the soccer field on Monday, April 24. The Indians prevailed 6-2 in their effort against the visiting Panthers.

Hartford took a 2-0 lead into intermission before returning to the field to score four more goals. Watervliet was held scoreless through the first half of play. The Panther offense fired to life in the second half, as they scored two goals. But, the rally came too late and Hartford tallied the win.

With the score tied 2-2 in the second half, it appeared the game could go either way. However, Hartford’s defense stymied Watervliet and the offense broke out by scoring four unanswered points for the victory.

Abigail Lopez led Hartford with five of the team’s six goals. She was assisted on three goals by Marissa Beraza, Jessica Cortes, and Olivia Ziemer.

Ziemer contributed one goal.

Sarah Barajas and Sylvia Perry shared keeper duties for the Indians. Barajas was credited with four saves, while Perry had five.

Watervliet’s Emma Armstrong scored one goal with an assist from Casie Gohr.  The other Panther goal came off the foot of Emma Kraklau.

Coloma softball shuts out Hartford – twice

 Coloma’s varsity softball team cruised to two victories Thursday, April 27 as they traveled to Hartford for Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division competition. The Comets shut out the Indians 10-0 and 16-0.

In game one, Coloma raced out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Coloma maintained the three-run lead until the sixth inning when their bats fired back up and the squad scored six runs.

Coloma’s 10 runs came off 13 hits.

Hartford tallied two hits, including a double by Amara Wesaw. Megan Nelson was the other Indian to get a hit.

Skylar Crisenbery pitched for Coloma and collected her seventh win of the season.

Megan Koenigshof and Crisenbery had three singles each for Coloma at the plate.  Kayla Yore and Morgan Wagner both belted a double and scored two runs. Mya Potter hit a double and Alyssa Dillenbeck hit a single and double.

The Comets dropped the hammer in the second game as well. Coloma won a 16-0 drubbing of the Indians.

Coloma had 15 hits during the game. Koenigshof had two singles and two RBIs. Yore crushed a homerun and single; she scored two runs. Jaidyn Hutsell hit a double and scored two runs.  Potter chipped in a single, double, and two RBIs. Crisenbery hit a double and single and racked up four RBIs.

Hutsell pitched for Coloma and earned her sixth victory of the season.

Coloma clips Watervliet on soccer field

 The Coloma Comets hosted Red Arrow Highway rival Watervliet on Wednesday, April 26 and scored a 6-1 victory over the Panthers.

The Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division matchup saw plenty of first half scoring by the Comets. Coloma netted five goals in the first 40 minutes of play.

Coloma garnered their sixth and final goal in the second half, as Watervliet also got on the scoreboard courtesy of a penalty kick score.

Alyssa Bahr led Coloma with three goals. Mackenzie Ecker was credited with one assist.

Kathryn Pawluck scored two goals with assists from Katelyn Johnson and Bahr.

Hannah Palmer contributed one unassisted goal.

Emma Watson was Coloma’s keeper in the contest. She was credited with nine saves.

Having turned their defense around in the second half, Watervliet allowed just one goal and scored one on Emma Armstrong’s penalty kick.

Vickie Smith was in goal for Watervliet in the second half and allowed one goal.

STOLEN!… Coloma’s Ethan Price slides safely into second base Thursday as Hartford’s Joey Lehmkuhl reaches for the ball. Coloma won both cards of the doubleheader, 6-2 and 5-2. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Coloma boys and Hopkins girls take first at 45th annual Watervliet Relays

 There were track stars aplenty at the 45th annual Watervliet Relays Friday, April 28.

The relays featured teams from Hopkins, Martin, Coloma, Buchanan, Bridgman, Hartford, Eau Claire, River Valley, and Kalamazoo Christian as well as the host school.

It was the Coloma boys’ varsity team’s time to shine as they scored their first outright win of the relays. Watervliet finished fourth overall with Hartford trailing in fifth place.

Coloma’s relay teams collected goal medals in the 800, middle distance, Panther, and 1600 meter relays.

In the 800 meters, Caleb Ellis, Sincere Taylor, Josh Young, and Derek Plitt benefited from fast feet and seamless handoffs. They finished the relay with a time of 1:32.39.

In the middle distance relay, Greg Olsen led the way with Ellis, Taylor, and Adiel Granados powering through the relay with a time of 6:11.76.

The 1600 relay team of Ellis, Taylor, Brandon Bower, and Josh Young were golden with a time of 3:34.41.

The Panther relay was won with a time of 2:05.93 by Plitt, Bower, Michael Dancer, and Young.

The Comet foursome of Bower, Zane Lute, Kobe Hunter, and Adam Hearn took first place in the shuttle hurdles with a time of 55.22 seconds.

Jonah Jones and Calvin Hutchinson teamed up for gold in shot put. Their combined distance was 81’ 9-3/4”.

Jones and Brendan Lute tossed their way to a gold medal in the discus with a combined distance of 227’ 11-1/2”.

Watervliet’s LA Smith and Haydon Richards combined in the long jump for a gold medal distance of 38’ 3”. Smith got a second gold medal, this time with Austin Roberts, at the high jump. Their efforts totaled 10’6”.

Hartford’s pole vault duo of Carter Gendron and Randy Ramirez leapt to a combined height of 17’ and a first place medal.

In the girls’ division, Hopkins took first place with the Indians of Hartford finishing second. Watervliet took fourth place and Coloma ended the event in eighth place.

The duo of Amber Martin and AJ Jackson won the area’s only gold medal. They led Hartford to first place in the discus by throwing a combined distance of 185’ 4-1/2”.

Watervliet softball scores three shutouts in four games

 The Lady Panthers softball squad continues to hurt their opponents at the plate. The team recorded three shutout victories in four games last week.

On Monday, April 24, the Panthers notched 13-1 and 17-0 wins over Lawrence on the road.

The opening game of the doubleheader against Lawrence found Watervliet with the 13-1 victory.

Kara Liles pitched a complete game. She allowed one run on two hits and struck out three.

Watervliet scored three runs in the first inning, three in the third, two in the fourth, and five in the sixth for the win. The Panthers’ 13 runs came off 12 hits.

Logan Mizwicki had three hits and scored three runs. Liles produced two hits and scored two RBIs.

Ariana Rowe and Sabrina Klimkiewicz each scored one run and one hit.

Zoe Smith stroked two hits and scored one run. Jaelyn Pitre had one RBI.

In the second game, Watervliet scored three runs in the first inning, 11 in the second, and three in the fourth. They scored 17 runs on 23 hits.

Rowe continued to dominate on the mound. She allowed only two hits during the game.

Watervliet’s offensive effort was felt throughout the lineup. Mercede Daugherty belted a homerun and two singles with four RBIs.  Zoe Smith hit three singles and a double with four RBIs. Mizwicki hit two singles and a double with two RBIs.

Taylor Shafer and Pitre both smacked three singles and had one RBI. Grace Smith collected two RBIs on two singles. Liles hit three singles, and Rowe scored one run.

On Thursday, April 27, the Panthers welcomed Bangor to the diamond.  This time Watervliet shut out their opposing team twice: 17-0 and16-0.

In the first game, Rowe collected her sixth win of the season. She did not allow a hit. Liles pitched one inning and struck out three batters.

At the plate, Watervliet’s 17 runs came off 17 hits.  Leading the way was Mercede Daugherty, who belted her fifth homerun of the season. She also had a double and four RBIs.

Rowe scored three runs and had two doubles and one single. Pitre hit two singles and scored two runs. Liles and Mizwicki both singled and scored two runs.

Sabrina Klimkiewicz scored one run and hit two singles.  Grace Smith hit a single and double and one RBI.  Zoe Smith hit a single and scored one run. Celina Klimkiewicz hit two singles.

In the late game, Celina Klimkiewicz recorded her first win after she pitched a 16-0 shutout. She did not allow a hit and struck out two batters.

Daugherty continued to pummel the ball. She tallied her sixth homerun of the season; she also hit a double and triple and scored four runs.

Daugherty is having quite a season. Her batting average is .610 with 10 doubles, two triples, and 33 runs batted so far this year.

Zoe Smith and Liles each batted a single and double and scored two runs. Celina Klimkiewicz hit two singles and scored two runs. Rowe batted two runners in.

Pitre knocked down three singles and scored one run. Mizwicki and Sabrina Klimkiewicz blasted two singles and scored one run apiece. Grace Smith was credited with one RBI.

WHAT A CHIP SHOT… Wa-tervliet golfer Matt Lambrecht chips his shot Friday at Paw Paw Lake Golf Club as the Panthers were joined by Coloma on the course. Lambrecht shot a season low 46 as Watervliet took three of the top five places.


Hartford nets two wins

 Hartford’s varsity soccer team enjoyed their week of play by netting two shutouts.

On Wednesday, April 26, the Indians welcome Saugatuck to town and scored the 5-0 win.

Hartford head coach Abel Robles was pleased with the play of keeper Sylvia Perry. “Perry recorded four saves for the evening to earn her first clean sheet of the season,” he commented.

Hartford scored one goal in the first half of the game. They added to their total with four goals in the second half.

Abigail Lopez led Hartford with four goals.  Marissa Beraza and Olivia Ziemer were each credited with one assist.

Marissa Beraza scored one goal and got some help from Lopez with the assist.

On Friday, April 28, the Indian squad traveled to South Haven and blanked the Ram 1-0. Hartford’s lone goal was scored by Lopez in the first half of play. Beraza notched the assist.

Perry tallied her second consecutive clean sheet by recording 13 saves.

Watervliet track takes first at Saugatuck

 Watervliet won first place as they traveled to Saugatuck Wednesday, April 26. Hartford also sent a squad to the meet.

Watervliet had many notable performances including Derrick Burkhardt’s efforts in the shot put and discus. Haydon Richards shined in the 300 hurdles.

According to Watervliet coach Greg Grear, “Gus Hinch and Brent Simmons ran their best mile times.”

LA Smith set a new personal record in the 400 meters.

Coloma baseball 1-2 against Lawton and Sturgis

 Coloma baseball went to work Tuesday, April 25 as they took on Lawton for one game. The Comets blanked the Blue Devils 8-0, with Dylan LeClear getting the win for Coloma. LeClear is now 2-1 this season. He pitched a complete game, allowed one hit, struck out nine, and walked four.

Coloma led 2-0 after the second inning. The Comets added one run in the fifth and finished off Bangor with a five-run sixth inning. Coloma’s eight runs came off nine hits.

Mathew Kelley led Coloma at the plate. He crushed a double and two singles with two runs batted in. Anthony Abbot hit two singles for Coloma.

The Comets then faced Sturgis on Saturday, April 29 and lost two games, 6-0 and 14-10.

In the early game, Coloma fell behind early as Sturgis put up two runs in the first inning.

Although the Comets weren’t able to score a run, they did have eight hits. Kelley led the way with a double and single. Grant Kroschel hit two singles. Danny Najacht turned in a double and LeClear hit two singles.

LeClear pitched six innings for Coloma and took the loss. He gave up six runs and seven hits. LeClear struck out six batters and walked three.

Nick Eastman went to the mound for one inning for Coloma. He did not allow a hit.

Coloma dropped game two 14-10 after a great game of ball.

The score was tied 3-3 after the first inning and 5-5 after the second.  Coloma took the lead in the third inning by scoring one run.

Sturgis hit back in the fourth inning and scored two runs, but Coloma kept pace by adding another one to their total. At the end of four innings, the game was all tied up at 7-7.

Sturgis seemed to take control of the game. They added two runs in the fifth to take a 9-7 lead. A one-run sixth-inning for Sturgis was no match as the Comets, feeling the pressure, put their bats to work. The Comets scored three runs in their half of the sixth inning to tie the game up at 10-10.

In the seventh and final inning of the game, Sturgis sealed the win with a four-run outing.

Coloma sent four pitchers to the rubber. Kroschel pitched two innings. He allowed five runs on six hits. Ethan Price pitched two innings. He allowed two runs on two hits while walking three batters.

Anthony Abbott was pitcher number three. He was in for one-third of an inning. He allowed two runs on one hit and walked two batters. Nick Eastman finished up the game for Coloma. He pitched two and one-third innings. He allowed five runs on four hits and walked two batters. Eastman took the loss for Coloma.

Offensively for Coloma, Calvin Starnes hit three singles. Eastman tallied two singles, and Abbott belted a double.

Harford faces tough competition in tourney action

 Hartford girls’ varsity softball team had three rough outings Saturday, April 29 as they faced some stiff competition from Gull Lake, Dakota, and Schoolcraft high schools.

In the early morning game against Gull Lake, Hartford lost 12-1. The Indians’ lone run came in the fifth inning. Madisyn Earls and Cora Wesaw both had one hit for Hartford.

Gull Lake scored 12 runs on 16 hits. Amara Wesaw took the loss for Hartford.

The second game resulted in an Indian shut out 23-0 by Dakota. According to Abel Robles, Hartford’s head coach, Dakota is “the number one ranked team in [the] state in Division one.”

Hartford was limited to just one hit, a double off the bat of Amara Wesaw.

Megan Nelson pitched for Hartford and took the loss. She allowed 23 runs on 20 hits.

In the third game the Indians suffered another shutout, 11-0, this time at the hands and bats of Schoolcraft.

Hartford’s bats came alive in the contest, however, as the team had five hits. Nelson led the Indians with two hits.

Schoolcraft’s 11 runs came off 12 hits. Amara Wesaw pitched for Hartford and took the loss.

Watervliet beats Bangor, bested by Benton Harbor

A LEG UP… Watervliet’s Vickie Smith gets her leg up during the shuttle hurdles event Friday at the Watervliet Relays. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Watervliet traveled to Benton Harbor Tuesday, April 25 for doubleheader action.  The Tigers topped the Panthers 7-5 and 6-5.

In the first contest, Watervliet and Benton Harbor were tied 2-2 after the first inning. The Tigers added a run in the third inning and two in the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead.

Watervliet added two runs in the sixth inning but the Tigers added one as well. With the score 7-4, the Panthers needed a big seventh inning. Unfortunately, they only got one run and lost 7-5.

Ryan Chisek, Tommy Swanson, and Bryant Kieft pitched for Watervliet. Chisek took the loss.

Kieft led Watervliet at the plate with two singles.

In the second game, Watervliet battled Benton Harbor but lost 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Watervliet led 4-1 after the third inning. Benton Harbor tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth inning.

Watervliet scored one run in the top of the fifth inning, but Benton Harbor put up two in the bottom half and won 6-5.

Garrett Matthews and Kieft both took the rubber for Watervliet, with Kieft being handed the loss.

Kieft led on offense with two singles.

If Tuesday’s games stifled Watervliet’s bats, then Thursday’s games set them on fire. Watervliet blasted Bangor 15-0 in game one and 11-2 in game two.

In the opener, Watervliet allowed only two hits. The Panthers scored one run in the first inning, two in the second, 11 in the third, and one in the fourth.

Cam Rendo pitched for Watervliet and earned the win.  Swanson came on in relief for one inning.

Chisek blasted a triple and single, Kieft stayed hot at the plate with a double and single. Tyler Brant hit three singles. Jakob Aldrich and Matthews hit two singles apiece.

In the late game, Watervliet led 5-1 after the first inning. The Panthers added two runs in the third and two in the fourth to take a 9-1 lead.

Watervliet scored one run in the fifth and one in the sixth. Although Bangor scored one run in the sixth inning, it wasn’t enough to overcome the huge Panther lead, and Watervliet went on to win 11-2.

Aldrich struck out eight batters for Watervliet.

Matthews hit a triple and two singles for the Panthers. Kieft crushed a triple and single. Brant hit a triple.  Zack Pickens hit a single and double. Rendo had two singles.

Logano gets monster win Sunday at Richmond

 Joey Logano won his first race of the 2017 NASCAR season in super-charged style. He was five lengths ahead of second place finisher Brad Keselowski when he crossed the finish line and took the checkered flag in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Speedway.

The win marked Logano’s 18th career victory. He led 25 laps. Logano, who qualified to start fifth, ended up at the back of the pack after switching out his transmission prior to the race, so his performance in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was quite impressive.

In nine races, Logano has finished in the top 10 eight times. What a feat!

Brad Keselowski finished second in the 400-lap race. He led 110 circuits.

Denny Hamlin recorded his first top five finish of the season after rolling into third place. He led 59 laps.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started the day in fourth place and ended the day in fourth place. That gave Stenhouse Jr. his second top five of the season.

Kevin Harvick led 11 laps on his way to fifth place.

Twenty-eight of 38 drivers competing finished on the lead lap. Other drivers who led laps included Ryan Newman (25), Kyle Larson (5), Kyle Busch (1), and Matt Kenseth (a race high 164).

Larson leads the pack in the driver standings. Martin Truex Jr. trails by 40 points in second place, and Chase Elliott lags behind in third place by 52 points. Logano is firmly in fourth place, 65 points out of the lead. Keselowski rounds out the top five in the driver standings; he trails the leader by 71 points.

Of note this week on the NASCAR circuit was the surprise announcement by Dale Earnhardt Jr. that he is retiring following the close of the season in November. On Sunday, he tangled with teammate Jimmie Johnson and finished 30th.

Drivers will head to the Talladega Superspeedway with its 2.66 mile track for Sunday’s GEICO 500. Brad Keselowski won last May’s race at the big track and already has two wins this season. Will he three-peat? Find out in next week’s Pit Stop.

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