Redhawk softball in driver’s seat for Western Conference title

Ahna Riggenbach

Redhawk softball in driver’s seat

for Western Conference title

By Tom O’Neill

            Lake Michigan College collected two double-header wins over the weekend, beating Muskegon Community College at home and Ancilla College on the road. The wins pushed the Redhawk conference record to 15-3, putting them percentage points ahead of 12th-ranked Lansing Community College (16-4) in the MJCAA Western Division.

            The Lady Hawks topped Muskegon CC 2-1 and 10-2 on Saturday at home, then traveling to Indiana and beating Ancilla College 10-1 and 10-0.

            LMC is playing catch-up along with many other schools because of weather-related postponements. The Hawks have had nine double headers rescheduled leading to what could be a season-ending showdown with Lansing and 20th-ranked Jackson CC.

            Lansing will host LMC Tuesday. The Stars fell 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel April 10 at LMC before coming back for an 8-0 victory in the second contest. The home game against Jackson (13-5) was cancelled twice, April 15 and 19th.  The teams will meet in Jackson April 26 and then at LMC April 28. The Jets are 1-3 against Lansing.

            “Every game is a playoff game now,” explained Redhawk coach John Jewell. “We have to take it one at a time. We haven’t seen Jackson, but heard they are improved. These upcoming games will tell a lot about us.”

            The top two teams in each conference will play for the state championship beginning May 5. In the meantime, LMC is banking on its leading pitcher, Ahna Riggenbach, to carry the Hawks. Madison Miller is out with a leg injury and Angie White’s only game experience came Sunday in relief against Ancilla. Riggenbach, 14-6 overall, has a 2.50 ERA with 147 strikeouts (4th nationally), averaging 8.34 per game.

            Jewell said up until the last three game LMC’s bats have been quiet. “We’re struggling with the bats. Our pitch selection has not been good. We have great defense.” After this past weekend’s games, the Red Hawks improved to six runs a game against conference opponents. They had 40 hits, scoring 34 runs against Muskegon and Ancilla, including two home runs by freshman Jenna Walter against the JayHawks.

            The Red Hawks will face Kellogg CC (4-8) at home April 27 starting at 3 PM, Jackson on Sunday, April 29 at 1 PM, finishing with Kalamazoo Valley (12-6) on May 3 at 3 PM.