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Reeths-Puffer softball team’s magical run continues in sweep of Oakridge

Unbeaten Rockets rally in 6-5 and 14-13 victories over Eagles, including unbelievable comeback in the nightcap.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

MUSKEGON — Reeths-Puffer softball coach Sarah Bayle is pregnant with her second child. The stress she was under Thursday at Oakridge might be too much for others, but she would have it no other way.

After all, the girls on the Rockets’ still-unbeaten 2024 softball team may as well be her own — the bond and belief in each other seem to be that tight.

The magic of Reeths-Puffer’s season continued with a pair of statement wins over a strong-hitting Oakridge squad, as the Rockets rallied from three runs down for a 6-5 win in Game 1 and staged an unbelievable comeback for a dramatic 14-13 triumph in Game 2.

Reeths-Puffer softball coach Sarah Bayle (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

After a highly competitive nonleague doubleheader between two of the Muskegon area’s top teams, Reeths-Puffer improved to 18-0-1 on the season while Oakridge slipped to 9-5.

In the nightcap, Oakridge led 13-4 and had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the fifth. The Eagles were on the verge of putting away a mercy-rule win but they could not push across a run.

Reeths-Puffer rallied for five runs in the sixth inning to pull within 13-9 and give itself a puncher’s chance, then the Rockets scored five more in the seventh to stun the Eagles and move into the lead.

In the seventh inning, Abbie Critchett’s single through the left side scored Lainey McDaniel to tie the game at 13. Madison Snyder followed with a single and the speedy Critchett came around to score on an Oakridge error.

McDaniel, who earned the complete-pitching win in Game 1, relieved Snyder in the seventh inning of Game 2. The left-hander picked up the save, although Oakridge threatened and advanced the tying run to third base with less than two outs but could not convert.

Madison Clark hit a grand slam for Oakridge in Game 2, while Ahria Doornbos and Kaelinn Jozsa both had three-run home runs for the Eagles. Despite Oakridge totaling 13 hits, Snyder hung in there through six innings to get the win. Only five of Snyder’s runs allowed were earned. She struck out six and walked six.

Clark, Jozsa, Kylie Willea, and Kelcey Osborne had two hits apiece for Oakridge in the second game. Osborne took the complete-game pitching loss, allowing just five earned runs on 15 hits with one strikeout and no walks.

For Reeths-Puffer in Game 2, McDaniel, Critchett, and Tessa Ross had three hits apiece, while Snyder and Kyleigh Bilek recorded two hits each. Critchett’s two-run triple sparked the Rockets’ sixth-inning uprising.

In Game 1, Oakridge led 4-1 through four innings before Reeths-Puffer rallied for five runs in the fifth. McDaniel and Snyder led the way for the Rockets in the game with two hits apiece. In the pitcher’s circle, McDaniel allowed three earned runs and 10 hits with 13 strikeouts and no walks.

Jozsa homered and double to power Oakridge in the second game and she finished 3-for-4. Gracie Clark homered and also went 3-for-4. Kylie Willea took the loss, allowing six earned runs and nine hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

There’s a chance that Reeths-Puffer and Oakridge could see each other again next weekend in the Greater Muskegon Athletic Association tournament on Saturday, May 4. Seeding and other game info is yet to be determined.

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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