05-09-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele

Well, unfortunately, the week in Hartford Athletics can be easily defined in one simple word – wet. Mother Nature wrecked havoc on the Tri-Cities area, cancelling games, matches and meets across the board from Monday right on through Thursday. In the end, Hartford’s student-athletes faced competition in just five contests. The baseball team played in two weekend games, while the track teams competed in a trifecta of meets. Hopefully, during the coming week, our area will receive a well-deserved break from the weather and can return to regularly scheduled spring sports activities!

Hartford Baseball splits in Coloma round-robin tournament

The Hartford Indian Varsity Baseball team was scheduled to compete in two conference doubleheaders and a weekend tournament last week. But Mother Nature threw a curveball to their plans, and rained them out last week on Monday and Thursday. However, the weather did break enough for the team to compete in Coloma on Saturday, where the team played two games. With the team back at full strength, they could finally see where they are at.

COLLISION COURSE… Hartford’s Elijah Rodarte slides safely past Coloma third baseman Nick Eastman, who catches the throw but is pulled off the bag, in the second inning of play Saturday. Hartford won the contest 7-5. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

In Saturday’s Coloma round-robin tournament, Hartford faced off with the host Comets in game one and played local powerhouse, Schoolcraft, in game two. The Indians opponent in game one has played solid baseball so far this season, and the Indians opponent in game two has made back-to-back runs to the state semifinals. So, both games would be considered a good mid-season test for this team.

In their first game of the day, Hartford defeated Coloma, 7-5. The Indians got on the scoreboard first in a big way, turning hit-after-hit into five runs in the top of the third inning to take a commanding 5-0 lead after two-and-a-half innings. However, the host Comets failed to give in, holding Hartford to no runs in the fourth inning, before turning the tide on the Indians.

Coloma scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, one in the bottom of the fifth and two in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 5. However, Hartford got the bats hot once again, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh to regain the lead. The defense was solid in the bottom half of the final inning, and the Indians held on to win.

Aaron Sinclair earned the victory on the mound for Hartford. The offense turned in seven hits, led by Sinclair, who pounded out three hits, including two singles, a double and two RBI. Evan DeLaRosa added two singles and two RBI, while Elijah Rodarte posted a stat-line that included two singles and an RBI.

In their second and final game of the day, Hartford was defeated by Schoolcraft, 15-0.

Weather permitting, the Hartford baseball team will be rather busy this week playing three conference doubleheaders in the span of four days. On Monday, May 6, they will have traveled to Cassopolis to take on the Rangers, before traveling to Bangor on Wednesday, May 8 for a showdown with the Vikings. However, the Indians return home to conclude the week on Thursday, May 9, when they host Centreville for Senior Night. Check back next week to see how the team did!

Hartford Track dodges weather to earn season-best performances

The Hartford Indian track teams didn’t mind running in the rain last week, as the teams competed in a Southwest 10 Conference triangular and ended with two Friday invitationals. The teams have faced some adversity early on the season. They have limited numbers, and most are young, and in many cases, inexperienced. However, that does not mean they aren’t giving it their all – they are all working hard every single day.

On Wednesday, the teams traveled to Eau Claire to compete in a conference triangular, which also included Centreville. Boys’ results were not available as of press time, but the girls team went 1-1 on the evening, defeating the host Lady Beavers, but suffering defeat to the Lady Bulldogs.

Winning their individual events were Khashya McCoy in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles and Nautica Covington in the Shot Put. Other Lady Indians earning valuable team points included Marissa Solis, Asuzena Loera, Gillian Kuehnle, Jasmin Janicki and Abigail Garcia. However, the team performed very well as a whole, as they boasted a whopping 15 season-best performances.

On Friday, the majority of the track teams traveled to Bangor to compete in the Bangor Invitational. The boys team finished in 8th place with 10 team points and the girls team finished in 6th place with 58 team points. The Lady Indians got four top-three finishes in the meet, led by an overall first-place finish from Khashya McCoy in the 300 Meter Intermediate Hurdles. The 400 Meter Relay team of Marissa Solis, Isabelle Heminger, Brittany Vanlandingham and McCoy finished in second-place overall. Nautica Covington in the Shot Put and the 3200 Meter Relay team of Gillian Kuehnle, Vanlandingham, Jasmin Janicki and Jamie Smith earned third-place honors.

Meanwhile, Riley Traver competed in the St. Joseph – Benton Harbor Rotary Meet, held at Benton Harbor High School. This elite meet features many of the best athletes from around Southwest Michigan. Riley finished in fourth-place in the High Jump and the 100 Meter Dash, while also scoring a fifth-place finish in the 200 Meter Dash.

This week, the Hartford track teams will compete in a pair of meets that have had to be rescheduled due to the unforgiving spring weather. On Monday, May 6, they will have traveled to Cassopolis weather permitting for a dual meet with the host Rangers, before making the long trek to White Pigeon two days later, on Wednesday, May 8, to compete against the host Chiefs, along with Bangor. Check back next week to see if more season-best performances were had!

Hartford Athletics soccer and softball schedule for the week

Mother Nature has wrecked havoc on our little section of the world this spring, and with that, the sports schedule has had to be altered and amended many times over. Hartford Soccer or Softball teams could not play last week due to the weather or dangerous field conditions. The following is the schedule for these teams for this week.

The Hartford softball team will play three conference doubleheaders in the span of just four days, which may end up tiring the ladies out by the time all is said and done. On Monday, May 6, the team will have traveled to Cassopolis to take on the Rangers, before loading the bus once again two days later, on Wednesday, May 8, traveling to Bangor to take on the Vikings. They will conclude the week one day later, on Thursday, May 9, by hosting defending state champion, Centreville. The final games of the week will come on Hartford’s Senior Night, when they will honor the senior class for their commitment to the program over the last four years.

The Hartford soccer team will be playing in three matches this week, and like their bat-and-ball counterparts, will do so in the span of just four evenings. On Monday, May 6, they will have traveled to New Buffalo for a match against the Bison. They will return to the friendly confines of the Indian Soccer Pitch two days later, on Wednesday, May 8, as they host Bangor in a critical Southwest 10 Conference showdown. They finish the week on Thursday, May 9, traveling to Watervliet for a match against the rival Panthers.

Readers are encouraged to check back next week and hopefully, there will be plenty of good news on the Hartford sports front! As always, GO INDIANS!

Press Box Player of the Week

By Dave Vollrath

Our TCR Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma Comet junior Megan Koenigshof. Megan is currently the number one pitcher on the Comet softball team. She also runs on the Coloma cross country team and plays point guard on the Coloma varsity basketball team.

This past weekend the Comet softball team played in the Lakeshore invitational tournament and finished in third place, winning two of the three games they played. Megan was the key to the Comet success all day, as she was the winning pitcher in the two wins. At the plate, Megan had 11 hits including two doubles, and hurled a 2-hit shutout in a 4-0 win in the third place game against South Bend St. Joseph.

Megan is certainly one of the top athletes in the Coloma junior class, male or female. She is a top notch and versatile defender, besides being the top Comet pitcher this year. She patrols center field when not on the mound, and was the starting shortstop for last season’s state championship winning team. Megan bats leadoff, and hit a staggering .595 last year. Once on base she is always looking to steal and take an extra base, as she has speed to burn.

Coloma Comet softball coach Wendy Goodline says that having Megan’s versatility on the field is a huge plus, as she can put her anywhere on the field and know she will excel. Coach Goodline also says that she believes Megan has one of the highest softball IQs of anyone she’s ever seen, she just gets it, and this makes her one of the leaders on the Coloma softball team.

Megan also has a high IQ in the classroom, as she is carrying a weighted GPA of 4.1, and is an active member of the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society. Megan would like to continue her education studying either engineering or something in the medical field.

Megan’s parents are Kurt and Tammy Koenigshof.

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant

Panther Softball falls to Bridgman

It looked like the entire week was going to be rained out for all high school sports, but the weather cleared just a bit on Friday, May 3 and the Lady Panthers softball team managed to squeeze in a game with Bridgman on a cold and breezy evening. The Panthers lost 7-3 as the Bee’s Natalee McNeil pitched strong while striking out nine and allowing eight hits and seven walks.

The Bees started the game scoring three unearned runs in the top of the first inning, taking that 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth when the Panthers scored two runs. The Bees responded with three more runs in the sixth inning, putting the game away. The Panthers mounted a small rally in the bottom of the seventh inning but it wasn’t enough.

ROUNDING THE BAG… Watervliet’s Hannah Hart rounds second base Friday as head coach Tom Golden signals her to hold at two in the Panthers’ game against Bridgman. Watervliet lost the single contest 7-3. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Alex Worley led the offense with two hits, a single and a double. Addison Riley had two singles. Celina Klimkiewicz, Hannah Hart, and Emalie Gitersonke each had hits. Hannah Hart pitched well for all seven innings in the loss, giving up just three earned runs.

The Panthers are now 6-8 overall, 3-1 SAC Lakeshore Division. Watervliet visits Coloma on Friday, May 10, and hosts Galesburg-Augusta on Monday, May 13.

Baseball team gets rained out

The Panther baseball team was idle last week due to the rainy weather. The team travels to Coloma for a pair of games on Friday, May 10, and hosts Galesburg-Augusta on Monday, May 13.

Girls soccer wins one, loses one

The Panther girls soccer team hosted Delton-Kellogg on Wednesday, May 1, losing 8-1. The Panthers started strong and played well against a tough D-K team for the first 15 minutes. After that, Delton scored five goals in a 12-minute span to take a commanding lead.

FORWARD MOTION… Watervliet senior Emma Armstrong kicks the ball downfield Friday in a varsity soccer match against Bangor. The Lady Panthers topped the visiting Vikings 6-4. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Watervliet got back in the game and scored their only goal of the night when Victoria Smith kicked one in on an assist from Emma Kraklau.

At the beginning of the second half the Panthers were a little confused with the Delton offense, giving up three quick goals. But the Panthers settled down and their defense took over to hold Delton scoreless for the last 27 minutes of the game. Emma Armstrong and Danyel Munson played well as defensive mids, controlling the middle of the field. Alex Hays had a fine game with 17 saves in goal.

On Friday, May 3 the Lady Panthers beat Bangor 6-4. The entire team played well together, passing the ball on offense and communicating on defense. Bangor scored first, but then Lyla Nunez scored her first goal of the season to tie the game at one. It remained 1-1 until the second half when the Panthers scored two goals early, both by Victoria Smith.

Bangor stormed back, scoring the next three goals to take a 4-3 lead. Senior Emma Kraklau then scored a goal to tie it up at four. Smith followed with two more goals to seal the win. Daniel Munson and Kraklau each had an assist in the game.

The girls host Hartford Thursday, May 9, and travel to Coloma on Monday, May 13.

Track teams compete at Rotary

Nearly every area team sent track and field athletes to the Rotary Meet at Benton Harbor’s Filstrup Field on Friday, May 3. Each team sends their best, and the competition is tough and exciting.

This year the Panthers sent several students to compete on a windy and cool evening. On the girls side senior Emma Yazel finished 7th place in the 100 meter hurdles finals, and 11th in the 300 meters hurdles. Freshman Amy Eisen threw her discus 69.7 feet to finish in 8th place.

For the boys, Isaac Bultema finished 6th in the 110 meter hurdle finals, and Austin Roberts finished 8th in the 400 meter dash. Ezra Troyer finished 9th in the 800 meter race, and Ezra and Gus Hinch finished 0.16 seconds apart to claim 10th and 11th places in the 1600 meter race. Gus also finished 7th in the 3200 meter race.

The track teams have been stymied by the bad weather this spring and hope to get a few more meets in the books before the regional and conference competitions begin next week.

Ladies Monday Night Happy Hour Golf League

Monday, May 6 golf report from the Paw Paw Lake Golf Club:

Weekly Event Winner – Sandy Johnson and Colleen McKeown; Low Gross – Cheryl Hutchins with 52; Low Net – Cheryl Hutchins with 40; Low putts – Cheryl Hutchins with 18; Pars – Hole #14: Cheryl Hutchins and Colleen McKeown.

The ladies Happy Hour Golf League meets on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. New members are welcome; please call Charlene Durfee at (269) 468-8111.

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath

Coloma Comet boys track team has great showing at 61st annual Rotary track meet

On Friday, May 3 the Comet boys and girls competed at the annual St. Joseph – Benton Harbor Rotary track meet, running in its 61st year, on the Benton Harbor track. The meet rotates each year between the St. Joe and the B.H. tracks.

It is the showcase track event in Southwest Michigan, with 33 teams from three neighboring counties competing and bringing out the best track athletes in the area. It is a chance for even the smallest schools to compete against the largest, as the track season ramps up, in an effort for all of the top athletes to get prepared for the upcoming state tournament meets. This track extravaganza is one of the largest of the year in the state of Michigan.

According to Comet head coach Bruce Dings, the Coloma tracksters went into the meet looking forward to competing against state championship level competition, and teams they would not normally get a chance to see. Dings said, “Everyone has their quality kids, and when they come together, great things happen.”

The weather wasn’t the best, as it was cool and damp, but the highlight of the day for Coloma was most assuredly Caleb Ellis running in the 400 meters. He came from behind and ran down a St. Joe runner and nipped him at the finish line. Caleb’s winning time was a fine 52:99.

Also running well in this event was Sin’cere Taylor, who finished third in a time of 53:99. Also picking up a big win was Cole Alsup, who outdistanced his nearest competitor in the discus by over nine feet. Cole’s winning toss was 147.6 feet. The Comet 800 relay team finished in second place, but ran their season best time of 1:33.91. The winning time was 1:33.32. This team consisted of Caleb Ellis, Tayte Coleman, Nick Fogarty, and Sin’cere Taylor.

In the 800 run, Coloma’s Adiel Granados finished third in a time of 2:06.56 which was a personal best for Adiel. Sin’cere Taylor finished the 200 run in 4th place in a time of 23:93.

The Coloma 1600 relay team of Granados, Ellis, Coleman, and Taylor finished in 3rd place with a time of 3:43.37.

It was a great overall showing by the Comet boys, as they continue to prepare for the state championship competitions that lie ahead.

Girls’ results from the Rotary meet

The Comet girls also competed in the Rotary meet. Ava Genovese and Samantha Scott were the only Comets to place, as Ava finished in 5th in the 800 run, in a time of 2:44.87. Samantha finished in fourth in the high jump with a vertical leap of 4 feet 11 inches.

Coloma girls soccer keeps rolling up the victories

The Comet girls kept up their winning ways by going 3-0 on the week with two of the wins coming in conference games. They added two more shutouts to their outstanding record.

On Monday, April 29 the Comets defeated Fennville by a score of 4-1. Emma Watson was in goal for the Comets and turned away 15 shots. The Comet goals were sent into the net by Hannah Guntz, who scored two goals; Emma Vandermolen scoring one, and Addy Kimmerly also scoring one. Cali Grenon was credited with two assists, and Grace Gagliardo, one.

In the second game of the week, Coloma shutout another conference foe in Consantine by a final of 6-0. Coloma outshot Constantine by a 24-3 margin. Mackenzie Ecker scored twice for the victors, with Hannah Guntz, Grace Gagliardo, Emma Vandermolen, and Addy Kimmerly each scoring once. Gagliardo also had two assists, with Vandermolen and Cali Grenon each collecting one.

In the final Comet win they went outside the conference and defeated Brandywine by a huge margin, 8-0. Coloma pounded shot after shot on goal and ended with a 33-0 shots on goal margin. The Comets scoring was done by Cali Grenon with two goals and Mackenzie Ecker matched her with two of her own. Single goals were scored by Bailey McVay, Samantha Trousdale, Grace Gagliardo, and Eadie Needham.

With the three wins Coloma now has an overall record of 12-1-1, and sports a SAC Lakeshore record of 4-1-1.

Coloma Comet softball takes third place in Lakeshore Invitational Tournament

The Comet girls softball team won two and lost one last weekend, May 4, and finished in third at the annual Lakeshore tourney.

In Coloma’s first game of the day, they handed Portage Central a 12-5 loss behind the pitching of Megan Koenigshof who went all the way and struck out six. Megan also led the Comets on offense picking up three singles and a double. Hannah Mathis also had three singles and Megan Neubecker pounded a home run, a single and knocked in three runs. Kelsey Ellis added a double and Gracie Whitaker had two singles.

The Comets lost their second game to Schoolcraft by a final score of 13-7, with Taylor Brown being saddled with the loss. Megan Koenigshof had four hits including a double, and Hannah Mathis added four singles.

Coloma played South Bend St. Joseph in the game for third place. Megan Koenigshof was back on the bump for Coloma and pitched a whale of a game, shutting out St. Joe and giving up only two hits. Koenigshof once again tallied three hits from her leadoff spot, and Taryn Blazier had a huge two run single in the Comet win. The Coloma girls now have an overall record of 10-4.

Varsity Baseball hosts Saturday round-robin, plays well but loses a pair of games

The Comet baseball team hosted Hartford and Schoolcraft on Saturday, May 4, and fought hard but couldn’t get the bats warmed up enough to avoid taking a pair of losses.

The first game found the Comets trailing Hartford 5-0 going into the home half of the fourth, but the host boys scored two in the fourth, one in the fifth, and added two more in the sixth to tie the score at five. The Indians, however, scored two runs in the seventh. The Comets couldn’t answer even though they loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh.

Freshman Dylan Nelson was the hard-luck loser, though he pitched well for three innings in relief. The Comets only had two hits in the game, but were aided by six walks. Kenyon Boyd and Kevin Hearn had one hit each.

In the second game the Comets fell to Schoolcraft by a score of 5-1. This was a scoreless duel as Hunter Crist held the Eagles to no runs and three hits in his three innings