No slowing them down

The Alpena Community College softball team came out strong against Macomb on Saturday, but couldn’t rally back from early game deficits in 8-3 and 5-2 losses.

“We worked hard, we pushed through some of the things that may have made us frustrated yesterday. We pushed through and got rid of some of the errors we had yesterday,” ACC coach Erin Riopelle said.

In the opener, Macomb (16-12, 11-3 Eastern Conference) scored in the bottom of the second when ACC (6-6, 6-6) catcher Kelli Stevens tried to throw out Abby Schweihofer at second base with Beth Stroup on third. Stroup stole home to take a 1-0 lead.

The Monarchs picked up four hits against ACC pitcher Laura Lewis in three innings. Lewis took the loss, pitching four innings, giving up 11 hits and seven runs.

The Lumberjacks’ bats were not kind to them in the first three innings. Macomb pitcher Taylor Smith struck out two in the first three innings and limited the Lumberjacks to popups or ground outs.

Stevens got ACC’s first hit in the top of the third inning, but was left stranded

Smith pitched a full game for the win, giving up six hits and three runs while striking out three.

The fourth was Macomb’s breakout inning. It picked up six straight hits and six runs with no outs to take a 7-0 lead.

The Lumberjacks struck back immediately in the top of the fifth with three runs. Stevens hit a double with two outs. She was driven in by a single from Lewis. Lewis then advanced to third on passed balls.

Cassandra Shaw drew a walk and advanced to second on passed balls. Ashleigh Monticello then hit a two-run double to make the game 7-3.

She advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was left stranded.

ACC’S Alex Chmura pitched the rest of the game, giving up four hits and a sixth inning home run to Bryana Opalewski to give the Monarchs an 8-3 lead.

Stevens singled again in the seventh, but a Lumberjacks rally couldn’t get going.

In the second game, Macomb got on the board early when Smith was driven in by Carrie Chamberlain to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Chamberlain pitched a full game for the win, giving up seven hits, two runs and three walks.

Paige Lewandowski drew a walk in the top of the second and stole her way to third base. The Monarchs dropped a routine pop up from Stevens, giving her the chance to make it safely to first.

The speedy Lewandowski took a chance and stole home during the confusion to the tie the game 1-1.

ACC’s momentum was derailed in the bottom of the inning after Macomb’s Keegan Lehman hit a two run homer off Lewis with two outs to give the Monarchs a 3-1 lead. Sarah Mairose relieved Lewis and finished out the game.

Lewis picked up the loss, giving up four hits and three runs. Mairose gave up eight hits, two runs and walked two.

The Monarchs stretched their lead in the third inning when Erin Schuch was driven in by a fielding error of an Opalewski hit. Opalewski was then driven in by a single from Brittany Misiak to give Macomb the 5-1 lead.

ACC’s defense immediately bounced back to end the inning when Mairose threw out Chamberlain at second while Monticello tagged out Misiak at third.

“We had pretty strong defense, we kept the runs down compared to the first game yesterday. We did a lot better and that’s something to build off of in the future,” Riopelle said.

ACC’s bats woke up in the third inning when Katie Cox led off the inning with the first of two singles. She was immediately driven to third by a Lewandowski double.

Unfortunately for ACC, the next three batters were thrown out at first, stranding Cox and Lewandowski.

The Lumberjacks finally scored again in the top of the seventh inning. Shaw singled and was driven to third by a Mairose single with two outs.

Chmura singled immediately after to drive Shaw home and advance Mairose to second, narrowing Macomb’s lead to 5-2.

“We’re going to be working on hitting over the next few days and getting our bats going. Our pitchers were strong, they did what we asked them to do and they threw everything they had,” Riopelle.

ACC hosts Mott on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.