The Hillsdale Chargers softball team won two games in Canton, Michigan against University of Michigan-Dearborn, 7 – 2, and University of Detroit Mercy, 10 – 0, in six innings.
“Another good weekend, which leads me to believe that we’re going to have a successful spring,” Head Coach Kyle Gross said. “I mean, although we played very well this fall, we’re not going to take that and just sit on it this offseason, it’s time to really work hard. We’re just in a really good spot right now. It’s kind of like starting ahead of the game.”
In the game against Dearborn, the team was down 2 – 1 until fifth year senior utility player Madison Rathbun robbed the Wolverines of a run at the end of the inning, and hit a grand slam that helped the Chargers pull forward.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to do those things,” Rathbun said. “Those are the events that, in any sort of sporting activity, you naturally want to do. I got lucky yesterday, but luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. I prepare to do those things and then the opportunity happens and I get to make the play.”
Against Detroit Mercy, the team saw back-to-back home runs off the bats of freshman catcher Hannah Hoverman and Rathbun. Meanwhile, the pitching staff only gave up two runs the entire day, both coming in the Dearborn game.
“Honestly I didn’t have much going through my mind when I was up to bat, I was just thinking, hands to the bat and hit the ball hard” Hoverman said. “Then I got the pitch that I know that I can hit well, and as soon as it went off the bat, I knew it was gonna be out. You just get this feeling at the contact point and you’re like, ‘oh it’s gone,’ so then I just started running.”
The Chargers made zero defensive errors all day. As the team heads into the offseason with 8‑hour practice weeks, Gross says they will be working on cleaning up base running and overall consistency.
“It’s such a great experience coming in as a freshman,” outfielder Olivia Latimer said. “Everyone’s working hard for the pitcher, and then, in terms of our hitting, we hit really really well this weekend, and so just all around, we play for each other, which is super cool.”
The teams will finish out the fall playing season on Friday Oct. 15 with a game against Jackson Community College at Johnny Williams Field at 3 p.m.
“We’re having a lot of fun right now, and that’s the expectation to continue through the season,” Gross said. “Fun follows success, and we’re all about having fun.”