The MCC softball team spent their spring break in Osceola, FL taking part in a tournament that features teams from all around the country. The Tigers played a total of eight games between Monday, March 11 and Friday, March 15.
Monday, March 11
The Tigers opened up tournament play against Jackson College, an NJCAA DII program out of Michigan. It was a rough start to the tournament for the Tigers as they fell 5-16. Many of the Tigers struggled at the plate in the opening game as the team struck out ten times while earning eight hits. However, Taylor Hipsley was a bright spot in the game as the freshman went 2-3 from the plate with a double and a homerun while driving in four of the Tigers' five runs.
McKaylee Dawson was in the circle for the Tigers. On the day, she gave up 16 runs on 17 hits while striking out one batter and walking three.
The Tigers fared much better in the second game of the day when they took on the Trojans of Triton College.
The Tigers sent sophomore Saydee Terrell to the circle and she was able to earn the win in a complete game effort. While struggling with finding the zone, Terrell surrendered seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, six walks, and one hit batter while striking out five Trojans.
Meanwhile, the Tigers got offensive production from up and down their lineup. Seven different Tigers recorded hits in the contest while eight separate Tigers crossed the plate. It took a couple of innings for the bats to get going, but the Tigers scored in each of their final five half innings at the plate to knock of the Trojans 12-7.
Tuesday, March 12
Day two again saw the Tigers go 1-1.
The offense had a poor outing in their first matchup of the day when they faced off with Illinois Valley. After the first inning showed some promise for the Tigers at the plate with one run scored, they were blanked in five of the final six innings. The Tigers had trouble putting the bat on the ball throughout the contest as they struck out 16 times while earning just four hits.
Defensively, the Tigers didn't help their cause as they committed five errors behind Terrell as they fell 2-6.
But the Tigers would get back in the win column with their afternoon bout against SUNY Adirondack out of New York.
A big bottom of the first inning by SUNY put them in the lead 5-0. But the Tigers would answer the bell in the third and fourth innings.
The third inning started strong as Nicolette Dabbs led off with a double out of the nine hole which brought lead-off batter, Taylor Hipsley to the plate. Hipsley hit the first offering she saw to deep left center for a two-run homerun. The
McKaylee Dawson led off the fourth and helped her own cause with a leadoff single. Three of the next four batters drew walks to bring Dawson across the plate before a two-out single by Aliyah Scott plated two more runs. After three and a half innings, the score was knotted up 5-5.
Each team scored one in their next half inning to bring the score to 6-6 heading into the sixth when the Tigers would have their biggest inning of the day as they scored four runs. The inning got started by Hipsley drawing a walk and Aliyah Scott followed her up with an infield single. Nell Skeath then came to the plate, but was sent back to the dugout looking on strikes. A one-out single by Ashley Tennant loaded the bases for McKaylee Dawson. Dawson quietly grounded out to bring Saydee Terrell to the dish with two outs. The sophomore delivered with a double to left-center. Terrell then scored on a single by AnnaMarie Armstrong before the half inning ended on a Dabbs strikeout.
SUNY was able to respond with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth before both teams went scoreless in the seventh as the Tigers held on for the 10-8 victory.
Wednesday, March 13
On Wednesday, the Tigers were off from action on the court, but had a fun-filled day at Sea World.
Thursday, March 14
After the day off, MCC was back in action for two more games on Thursday.
In their opening matchup of the day, the Tigers squared off with the Rock Valley Golden Eagles. The contest was ugly from the start. After a scoreless top of the first, the Golden Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the inning while only registering one hit. Terrell struggled to gain control from the rubber as she walked the first two batters and plunked the third. Megen Johnson then singled for the home team on the score board and that was compounded by an error playing the ball once it reached the outfield. After a pair of ground outs, Terrell walked her third batter of the inning and the Tigers committed another error. Finally, Terrell induced a third ground out to get out of the inning, but not before surrendering four runs.
The game didn't get any better for the Tigers. Rock Valley cruised to an 11-1 victory in five innings as Terrell continued to struggle to find her groove and walked eight batters in four innings pitched.
Game two of the day started off better for the Tigers as they opened up an early 2-0 lead that would last until the fourth inning when the Triceratops of Cuyahoga evened the score. The Tigers responded with a three run top of the fifth as Hipsley, Tennant, and Skeath all crossed the plate. Not to be out done, Cuyahoga plated seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to open up a four run lead. A scoreless top half of the sixth for the Tigers was followed by four insurance runs by the Triceratops. And the Tigers went down scoreless in the top of the seventh to end the game 12-5.
Friday, March 15
Friday was the final day of action for the Tigers over spring break. And unfortunately, there wasn't much to cheer for in their final two games. Due to a scheduling change, the Tigers face Heartland in a double-header.
The Tigers struck first in game one when Kylie Swan scored on an AnnaMarie Armstrong double. From there, it was all Heartland. They responded with six runs in the bottom of the second and controlled the game. McKaylee Dawson gave up 10 runs on 14 hits and a walk while the Tigers managed just three hits and the single run en route to a 1-10 loss.
It didn't get better for the Tigers in game two of the matchup. Heartland scored three in the first inning, thirteen in an error plagued third inning, and four in the fifth inning while MCC managed a single run on three hits.
The Tigers closed the tournament at 2-6. Still, first year head coach, Dominic Ellis saw lots of positives on the diamond. "It was a great week of softball. We didn't come out with the wins that we wanted, but we got better in many different aspects of the game. We still have a lot of work to do to be able to compete in our conference, but I'm proud of the way our eleven girls are working and we can see the potential in this team."
The Tigers are scheduled to be back on the diamond for a home double header against Iowa Lakes on Sunday, March 24.