Lady Raider softball falls in District Finals
The Portland High School softball team traveled to Ionia on Saturday for the district tournament.
In the semi-final contest, Portland faced Lakewood. In the middle of the fifth inning, Lakewood led the Raiders 9-8. Portland picked up three runs in the bottom of the fifth and secured a 11-9 win to advance to the finals.
Sophomore Jayden Townsend pitched the complete game for Portland, striking out 10 Lakewood batters.
Townsend also led the Portland offense going 3 for 4 with a home run and a double. Senior Gina Sonday, freshman Bailee Fish, sophomore Bella VanAlstine, junior Ava Grummett and senior Stella Durrant each had one hit for Portland.
In the finals, Portland would face Ionia who had defeated St. Johns 4-1 to advance.
Despite trailing 9-0 after four innings of play, the Raider offense exploded in the fifth inning scoring five runs, then again in the seventh inning scoring another four runs to push the game to extra innings.
Ionia would eventually earn a 12-9 victory to clinch the District Championship in the eighth inning.
Three Portland hitters had two hits in the game, including Townsend and Grummett who each had doubles, and Durrant. Freshman Autumn Reffitt had a home run in the game. Senior Paige Pung, Sonday, Fish, and Freshman Chloe Page each had one hit for the Raiders.
Townsend pitched the complete game for Portland, striking out 11 Ionia batters.
After the game, Portland Head Coach Brandee Novara said, “I’m very proud of our girls for the fight they put up and never quitting!! They showed their true character. We are a young team and the future looks bright! My heart goes out to the seniors, they did a great job of leading this team!”
Ionia advances to play Chelsea at Chelsea next Saturday. The winner will face Jackson Northwest or defending state Champions Owosso in the regional finals.