Andrasik, Reinhold lift Lakers to home sweep
Starters Sara Andrasik and Courtney Reinhold both threw complete games Tuesday as the Grand Valley State softball team claimed two wins, 3-2 and 4-2, against GLIAC rival Wayne State in Allendale.
In game one, Andrasik and the Lakers squared off against Wayne State’s top pitcher, Lyndsay Butler. Butler entered the game as the GLIAC leader in wins with a 9-5 record and an impressive 0.90 ERA.
She had only eight walks and 112 strikeouts in 93.1 innings pitched.
“We knew she was going to be a good pitcher obviously,” said GVSU coach Dana Callihan. “We faced her in the past and kind of knew what she was doing. It was really just a matter of staying disciplined. That was the key to it, not chasing anything that she wanted us to chase and getting something that was more manageable to hit. She still got us 10 times but the discipline I think was the key.”
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when the Lakers got two runs. The number nine hitter, Chelsea Horvath, led the inning off with a grounder to the pitcher that she beat out with great hustle. Teagan Shomin, the lead-off hitter, was next up and ripped a double to left center, moving Horvath to third. After that, Kelsey Dominguez reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Jenna Lenza reached next on a fielding error by the third baseman, which drove a run in. McKenze Supernaw proceeded to work the count full with the bases loaded and no outs, and hit an RBI single to the left field fence. The Lakers left the bases loaded, but were up 2-0.
Wayne State capitalized on a few Laker miscues in the bottom half of the inning to make it 2-1, but GVSU gave Andrasik some run support in the fourth. Horvath hit a single to left, and advanced to second on a grounder hit by Shomin. Dominguez then reached on a throwing error from second base, which scored Horvath. It proved to be a costly error, because Andrasik only gave up one more run.
Andrasik credited the win to her defense, saying they had her back all game and played lights out.
“I had much better control than I had the past few games,” Andrasik said. “Only walking one batter was a huge improvement for me. That’s been my goal this season is to keep my walks down.”
Reinhold, a freshman, took the mound in game two and nearly threw her third shutout of the year.
In the top of the third, Jenna Lenza belted her fourth home run -- in the last week -- over the left-field fence to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead. Then, in the fourth inning, GVSU capitalized on another WSU error that allowed Horvath to reach base. Janae Langs came to the plate with one out and runners on second and third, and ripped a single to right field, scoring Horvath and A.J. Castle. Langs was then able to steal second with Shomin at the plate. Shomin singled up the middle, moving Langs to third, then stole second base. The throw sailed into center field -- which allowed Langs to score. The Lakers had a 4-0 lead and, with the way Reinhold was pitching, it looked like the game was over.
Things got interesting in the seventh, however.
The leadoff hitter grounded to second, but Lenza had trouble handling it and the runner reached base on the error. The Warriors had runners on first and second with two outs when Butler hit a pop fly in the infield, but Lenza dropped the ball to load the bases with two outs.
The next batter grounded to short, but a bad throw from Shomin led to a pair of WSU runs. With the game at 4-2, it was looking more and more like the Lakers might throw the game away, but Reinhold got the next batter to pop out and escaped with the 4-2 victory.
Even though Reinhold threw a complete game three-hitter, in which she struck out four and only walked two, she said she didn’t feel like she had much control of her pitches.
“It was definitely a struggle,” she said. “But I got the job done and had really good defense and a good cushion from our hitters so that is always helpful.”
The Lakers return to action at home this weekend with a doubleheader against Ashland on Friday at 3:30 p.m. GVSU then hosts Lake Erie for another two-game set on Saturday at 1 p.m.