Three hits. Three little hits, well maybe two big hits and a little hit. That is all it took for the Chelsea softball team to claim the Division 2 district title with a 4-1 win over Jackson Northwest Monday, June 3.
The game was played Monday after storms blew through and forced the Northwest/Western game to be called in the third inning.
The Bulldogs got to Northwest pitcher Nevaeh Ingram twice early and were shut down the rest of the way, but the two bombs are all they would need.
Ingram was dominant in district play striking out 18 against Tecumseh, 16 against Parma Western, and she collected 16 strikeouts against the Bulldogs
Sydnee Liedel started the game with a walk and came home when Peighton Root crushed a shot over the right field fence for a 2-0 Bulldog lead.
Maddy Scheese drew a leadoff walk to start the second and after a pair of strikeouts, Liedel launched one over the centerfield fence to extend the lead to 4-0.
While Ingram was striking out batters, the Bulldogs Maddie Kemp was nearly perfect on the mound as was the Chelsea defense. Kemp struck out just one, but she only allowed two hits and walked none for the win. She did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning when the Mounties got a two-out single, but a groundout ended the innings.
Northwest got a leadoff single in the sixth and that runner came home on a two-out error to cut the Chelsea lead to 4-1. They then put a runner on with a Chelsea error with two outs in the seventh, but a popout to Hayley Townsend at short ended the game and gave the Bulldogs the title.
Liedel also had the lone other hit for the Bulldogs giving her two for the night.
The Bulldogs reached the finals by taking down Adrian 9-1.
An RBI double by Maddie Vasquez and RBI groundout by Kemp put the Bulldogs on top 2-0 in the first. Kiersten Anstead made it 4-0 with a second-inning home run. Root added a two-run single and Kemp an RBI double and the lead was 7-0 after two.
The lead grew to 9-0 in the third on an RBI single by Liedel and groundout by Allison Hale.
Adrian would get a run in the fifth and loaded the bases with two outs, but a groundout ended the threat and they would not threaten again.
Kemp struck out three in four innings of work for the win. Hale did not allow a hit over the final three innings for the save.
Anstead finished with two hits, including the home run and two RBI. Root and Kemp each had two hits and two RBI, while Liedel had two hits and an RBI. Vasquez had a hit and RBI and Townsend a hit and run scored.
The Bulldogs improved to 31-6 overall on the season. They advance to the Division 2 Regional at home Saturday, where they will face Fowlerville (19-12) at 10:00. Eaton Rapids (36-3) #3 in D2 and Linden (26-8-1) will face off in the other Regional semifinal at noon with the championship at 2:00 PM.