Softball team advances to title game with 8-5 victory vs. Roscommon Bucks in district semifinals
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity girls softball squad from Grayling High School advanced to the District 67-3 championship game with an 8-5 victory vs. the Roscommon Bucks at Manton on Saturday morning.
The Vikings posted a one-two-three inning in the top of the first, catching two pop-ups and getting a Roscommon batter out at first on a bunt attempt. Sabrina Junttila was the starting pitcher for the Vikings.
In the bottom of the first inning, Grayling scored four runs to take an early 4-0 lead. Junttila singled to right and Erin Prosser singled to left center. Emma Prosser hit a double to right center, driving in both Junttila and Erin Prosser. Emma Prosser scored on a sharp ground ball hit by Jenna Schwartz; Schwartz was safe at first and advanced to second on a throw. With two outs, Mallory Hatfield singled to center, driving in Schwartz.
Roscommon got two runners on base in the top of the second inning with a walk and a single, but the Vikings got three outs with a pop-up to Olivia Schreiber at first base, a fly ball to Kyla Roach in center field, and a strikeout by Junttila.
The Vikings struck out twice and grounded out in the bottom of the second inning, leaving the score at 4-0 after two full innings of play.
The Bucks started the third inning with a bunt attempt; catcher Emma Prosser threw to second baseman Rebecca Latusek, who was covering first on the play, for the out. Erin Prosser made a diving catch at shortstop on a short line drive for the second out. A pop-up to Latusek ended the inning.
Schwartz walked with two outs and stole second base, but a ground ball resulted in the third out.
After three full innings, the score was Grayling 4, Roscommon 0.
Latusek caught a pop-up at second base. Erin Prosser threw to Schreiber for an out on a ground ball. The Bucks doubled to center field, but Grayling got the third out on the next batter with a grounder to Latusek.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Schreiber singled to left center and Tiffany Cook came in as a pinch runner for her. After a strikeout, with two outs, Roach singled down the third base line. Junttila singled to left and Cook scored on the play. A pop-up to the catcher in foul territory ended the inning.
Grayling led 5-0 going into the fifth inning.
Roscommon walked and advanced to second base on a passed ball. The Bucks singled to center to drive in a run. A balk moved the runner to second base. Junttila struck out the next batter. An error on a short pop-up put runners at first and third with one out. Roscommon scored on a sacrifice fly to Schwartz in right field. A single to left with two outs drove in another run. A pop-up to Erin Prosser at shortstop ended the inning.
The Vikings had a 5-3 advantage going into the bottom of the fifth.
Grayling responded with three runs to go back up by five. Emma Prosser led off with a double. Schwartz reached base on an error. Jenna Shelp bunted and everyone was safe on the play, loading the bases with no outs. Roscommon got two outs with short pop-ups. Jordan Schwartz hit a grounder and made it to first safely, driving in Emma Prosser. Roach hit a single and two more runs scored for Grayling.
After five innings of playoff softball, the Vikings had an 8-3 lead.
The Bucks scored two runs to pull within three in the top of the sixth inning. Grayling got three outs with a fly ball to Roach in center, a fly ball to Jenna Schwartz in right, and a strikeout by Junttila.
Erin Prosser singled to left with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Roscommon got two outs with a pop-up to the pitcher and a strikeout.
Going into the top of the seventh (final) inning, Grayling led 8-5.
The lead-off batter hit a sharp ground ball to Junttila, the pitcher, and she threw to Schreiber at first for the out. The Bucks singled and walked, putting runners at first and second with one out. A pop-up to Erin Prosser at shortstop resulted in the second out for Grayling. Junttila struck out the next batter, ending the game, and clinching an 8-5 victory for Grayling.
According to the team, Roach was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Emma Prosser was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two RBIs. Junttila, Erin Prosser, Schwartz, and Schreiber also had hits for the Vikings.
Junttila pitched all seven innings for GHS. She allowed three hits and she finished with four strikeouts.