Alpena softball wins home opener vs. Chiefs

It was a wild night for the Alpena High softball team on Thursday, when it won a double-header against Cheboygan 8-4 and 10-9.

Alpena won the second game in spite of three Cheboygan home runs.

“There were too many runs being scored for a high quality softball game. But, I’m glad that we’re out hitting teams and scoring enough runs to win,” Alpena coach Paul Marwede said.

Things started rough for Alpena (5-1) almost immediately when Cheboygan runner Aspen Williams was driven in on error at first base to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Cheboygan had problems of its own in the first inning when Macie Charboneau appeared to injure her wrist on a throwback from the catcher. She was replaced by Carrie Bongard, who pitched for the rest of the game.

Bongard immediately walked Alex Peters and Logan Myers. Peters was driven in off an Elise Leeck bunt while Myers was driven in off a fielding error to give Alpena a 2-1 lead.

Bongard picked up the loss. She gave up seven hits, eight runs and struck out five.

Kara Gehrke pitched a full game for the win, giving up four runs, six hits and struck out five.

Cheboygan tied it 2-2 in the second inning when Kammie Ramsey was driven in by Aleeza Bergstrom. The Chiefs then went up 4-2 in the fourth when Autumn Selmar and Rachel Brewster was driven in off a Brooke Beaubien double.

The Wildcats didn’t go down without a fight however.

Jessica Marwede led off the fourth inning with a double and was immediately driven in by a Kelsey Udell double to narrow Cheboygan’s lead to 4-3.

Next, Jenna VanDusen made it to first on a sacrifice bunt, while Marwede made it to third. Leeck batted in Marwede while Gehrke doubled to drive in Leeck and VanDusen to give the Wildcats a 7-4 lead.

Alpena never lost the lead as Gehrke dominated the Chiefs, giving up only two hits for the rest of the game. VanDusen scored in the bottom of the sixth.

Cheboygan wasted no time getting on the board in the second game, when Beaudian hit a home run off Lauren Heath. Williams was then driven in by Tallman to give Cheboygan a 2-0 lead.

Heath pitched three innings, striking out four and giving up six hits. Gehrke pitched the last four innings for the win, giving up 12 hits, seven runs and striking out two.

Myers was driven in by Leeck in the first inning while Alpena scored three more runs in the second to go up 4-2. VanDusen drove in a run while Myers drove in two.

The Wildcats held the Chiefs scoreless in the second and third innings, but were held scoreless in the third and fourth by Tallman.

Tallman pitched a full game for the loss, giving up 17 hits, 10 runs and striking out two.

The Chiefs rallied in the fourth inning, picking up three runs to take a 5-4 lead. Beaudian picked up an RBI double, while Borgard hit a two RBI double.

Alpena didn’t stay behind long. It rallied for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to go up 9-5.

Jasmyn Schultz had a two-run double while Udell had an inside-the-park two-run homer when the Chiefs center fielder and third baseman committed errors.

Cheboygan’s Ramsey kept the Chiefs alive by hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning and driving in two runs in the sixth inning to narrow Alpena’s lead to 9-8. Haley Stempky then hit a solo homer in the seventh inning to tie the game.

Schultz singled in the seventh inning and was driven to second off a Udell walk. The Chiefs pitcher then seemingly threw an intentional wild pitch to lure Schultz home.

The play backfired as the catcher couldn’t get the ball back to the plate quickly enough to tag out Schultz.

“Our pitching is doing well as they’re not walking anybody, but sometimes they’re hitting too much of the plate,” Marwede said. “With the weather being so cold, all you can ask the pitchers to do is get the ball over and let the defense do a little work.”

Alpena travels to Escanaba tonight.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at ebenac@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.