This Saturday the Portland Raiders Varsity Softball squad kicked off their first tournament of the year on their own dirt covered diamond. The team welcomed three opponents from across the state to battle out three games apiece.
The Raiders opened the morning with a strong 11-1 win against their familiar rival Central Montcalm. The game closed in a 5-inning mercy rule after an impressive 4th inning by the Raiders. Stand outs for the game included Natalie Linebaugh, going 3-4 at the plate and knocking in 3 RBI’s. Adriana Novara and Emma Selden both went 3-3, Selden racking up 2 RBI’s, and Allison Summers and Brooke Seal added 2 RBI’s each as well. Along with being active on offense all game, Novara was a threat on the mound, and her defense was outstanding in backing her up.
Before the second game of the tournament began, a special recognition was held dedicated to previous All-State players and their families as well as those who helped with this year’s field renovations. This year the field was updated by adding two rows of stadium seating, each seat including a plaque with the name a previous All-State player. Also included in the updates was new concrete, a sound system, and press box renovations. Head Coach Jack Anderson publicly thanked the individuals who donated their time and money toward these improvements as well as recognizing the All-State Athletes.
In the second game, the Raiders faced the Petoskey Northmen. The well-rounded Northmen handed Portland their first loss, defeating them 8-1. At-the-plate standouts for the game included lead-off hitter Jada Walton who went 2-3 with two base hits and Emma Selden adding an RBI. The strong pitching seen from the Northmen and fielding errors gave the Raiders a hard time in game two, but the team remained positive.
In the final game of the day, the Raiders faced the Grandville Bulldogs. Ending in a 10-3 loss the Raiders fought a tough battle to the finish, keeping it a 1-run game until the 5th inning. The errors made in the second game were left behind in the third, and the team found themselves coming together to play strong defensively in the first few innings. A long 5th inning put the Raiders behind, and they struggled to fight back against a tough Grandville offense. Standouts for the game include Emma Johnson, who went 1-3 with a home run, and Natalie Linebaugh who went 2-3 from the plate.
The Raiders ended the day 1-3, picking up another win and their first two losses of the season. The squad now stands 3-2 overall and will face Lansing Catholic at Lansing Catholic High School on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of AJ Guilford.