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Pioneers still in hunt with Houghton Lake sweep

By Ben Murphy

Two wins and it wasn’t even close. The Clare varsity softball team easily swept host Houghton Lake 19-1 and 17-2 in Jack Pine Conference play Tuesday night.

“Our pitchers did a great job of keeping Houghton Lake off the bases,” Clare head coach Jeff Albert said. “Our defense was solid led by some nice plays by senior captain Laura Walton at second base and fellow senior Danielle Foley. Everyone up and down the lineup hit the ball hard then were aggressive on the base paths and that’s how we try to win our games.”

Katya Halfmann got the win in game one, pitching three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits, five strikeouts and one walk.

Alex Stark had three hits, Bailey Reger had a home run and a single, Walton had two hits, Alex Rowel had two hits and Molly Merillat, Reger and Emily Baer all had RBI.

Baer was the winner in game two, giving up two earned runs on four hits, three strikeouts and two walks.

Walton had a triple and two doubles, Baer and Maise Beckner both had two hits with Baer getting a double.

On Thursday, May 1 Clare split with host Beaverton, losing game one 7-5 and winning game two 3-2.

Halfmann lost game one, giving up seven runs on six his and three strikeouts.

Lindsay Winter and Reger had two singles apiece and Baer hit a two-run homer.

Mackenzie Thayer tossed the win in game two, giving up two runs on five hits and one walk.

Beckner had two hits, Winter, Walton and Reger all had one hit apiece.

Clare (11-5 overall, 4-2 JPC) hosted Harrison on Thursday and hosts Farwell on Tuesday.

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