The Alpena softball team was ready and raring to play Marquette on Friday after being rained out of its doubleheader against Traverse City Central last week.
Despite strong play from everybody on the team, the Wildcats weren't able to come away with a win, losing the first game 4-3 and the second 11-4.
The first game was a one-run game from beginning to end.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena’s Alex Peters (14) slides into second as Marquette shortstop Morgan Seibert (left) tries to tag her out and Whitney LaFave watches during a softball game on Friday at Alpena High School. Peters was safe on the play.
"The first game was very entertaining with a lot of situations and strategies for both offensive and defense. It was a very interesting and fun game but at times it was sloppy," Alpena coach Paul Marwede said.
The last time Alpena faced Marquette was when they beat the Redettes in last year's district final.
Alpena (1-2, 1-0 Big North) scored first at the bottom of the second inning as Shannon Kapala drove in Abby MacArthur after MacArthur hit a double. Alex Peters and Logan Meyers then scored in the third, being driven in by a Brenna Bourdage single to go up 3-0.
Peters pitched very consistently in the first three innings, gaining two strikeouts, giving up one hit and three walks.
Marquette finally answered back in the fourth as Karlee Huuki was able to drive in Angela Brown and was later driven in by Courtney LaFreniere. Alpena was unable to answer back in the fourth, keeping the game at 3-2 going into fifth.
The Redettes then put in Morgan Seibert, sister of Alpena Community College's Lauren Seibert, as pitcher for the last three innings. She faced 12 batters and struck out three, giving up only two hits and no runs.
This turned out to be fateful for the Wildcats as an error in the top of the sixth on what would have been the inning's final out gave the Redettes the chance to score two runs to go up 4-3.
Peters and Bourdage had the chance to score in the seventh with two outs, but a fly ball to center field ended the game.
Marquette seemed to ride the momentum from the first game into the second as they picked up three runs off of Corinn Gehrke. Caten Teff and Desiree Robertson of Alpena each hit doubles in the second inning, but were left stranded after Senja Liimatta struck out two batters and threw out a third.
Alpena then tied the game 3-3 in the third inning with Meyers, Bourdage and Gehrke scoring. The game remained tied until the fifth inning when Marquette once again put in Seibert to pitch. She held the Wildcats scoreless for two innings until Peters hit an home run in the seventh.
The Redettes were able to score eight runs in the last three innings, jumping up 5-3 in the fifth and scored six in the seventh with five hits and a walk contributing to the rough final inning for the Wildcats.
In spite of the rough final inning, the Wildcats played well collectively with great work from all players defensively and offensively with eight of nine batters picking up at least a single in the first game and five of nine in the second.
"The second game was a similar thing (to the first). We were 3-3 up to the fifth but then we just let it get away from us after that," Marwede said.
Marwede isn't dwelling on his team's losses for very long.
"We get to get back at it tomorrow (Saturday) in a tournament down in Lake Orion. We have a game time of 10:30 a.m. and it gives us a chance to redeem ourselves in less than 24 hours," he said.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.