By Ben Murphy
Clare hosted Beaverton in Jack Pine Conference softball Wednesday night, winning game one 9-4 and falling 3-1 in game two.
Katya Halfman pitched seven innings to earn the win in game one, giving up four runs, one earned on nine hits, six strikeouts and one walk.
“Beaverton, they’re hard hitters, they know how to swing the bats and they’re aggressive on defense too,” Clare head coach Jeff Albert said. “That’s a good group they have over there and they’re well coached too.”
Every started had at least one hit for the Lady Pioneers in the game, with Melissa Benchley, Lindsay Winter, Laura Walton, Courtney English and Bailey Reger all had multiple hits with Reger and Walton adding two RBI apiece.
Mckenzie Thayer suffered the loss in game two, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits, two strikeouts and one walk. Halfman came in for two innings of relief, giving up one unearned run.
The Pioneers had five hits in the game, three came off the bat of Benchley.
“We hit the ball pretty well in the first game but in the second game we were just popping up and hitting slow rollers,” Albert said. “Defensively my shortstop (Winter) and catcher (Reger) had great games, they were our main playmakers.”
On Saturday the Pioneers hosted their own tournament, topping Chippewa Hills 12-0 and Pine River 14-0 to win the event.
Highlights on the day were Halfman winning both contests from the pitchers circle and Walton hitting a walk-off home run in the first game that enforced the mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“It was a good day,” Albert said. “We hit the ball hard and we put hits together. The teams we played have always had good programs in the past so we played good against some very good teams.”
Clare (6-2 overall, 4-2 JPC) hosted Houghton Lake on Thursday, play in the Shepherd tournament on Saturday and play at Harrison on May 7.