Niles baseball, softball top St. JoePublished 11:28pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012
ST. JOSEPH — Visiting Niles may be pulling it together just in time to make a run at another Division 2 District baseball championship.
The Vikings are the defending district champs, but haven’t looked like it for most of the season.
Niles swept a Big 16 West Division doubleheader from St. Joseph Tuesday.
The Vikings won the opening 8-3 and then completed the sweep with a 2-0 win in the nightcap over the Bears.
In the opener, Tate Rudlaff and Tyler Clutter combined to keep St. Joseph at bay despite the fact that the Bears finished with 10 hits.
Niles had 11 hits, including a double by Matthew McLaughlin, who was 2-for-3. Chris Mangus and Tate Brawley also had two hits for Niles, which got a 3-for-4 performance from Mitchell Dehn.
Mangus and Dallas Munger both drove in a pair of runs for the Vikings.
In the nightcap, Tate Brawley scattered six hits in recording the shutout. He finished with four strikeouts and did not walk a batter.
Niles had just three hits, two of which came off the bat of Tyler Parish.
Niles 201 102 2 – 8 11 1
St. Joe 100 000 2 – 3 10 3
Tate Rudlaff (W), Tyler Clutter (6); Jake Fratzke (L), Holtzapfield (5), Starks (6)
2B: Matthew McLaughlin (N), Fratzke (SJ)
Niles 001 100 0 – 2 3 0
St. Joe 000 000 0 – 0 6 2
Tate Brawley (W), Holtzapfield, Lawrence (4, L), AJ Montoya (6)
2B: Charlie Fleenor (SJ)
ST. JOSEPH — The Niles softball team needed six runs in both games to sweep host St. Joseph in Big 16 Conference West Division play Tuesday.
The Vikings defeated the Bears 6-3 in the opening game and then edged St. Joseph 6-5 in the eight-inning nightcap.
Molly VanDeKeere was the winning pitcher in both games. She helped her own cause in the opener by crushing a double.
In the nightcap, Olivia Jordan had a triple and Hannah Porterfield a home run.
“We battled the entire doubleheader and never gave up,” Niles coach Ryan Frontczak said. “I am so proud of the girls tonight. They did a great job of keeping their composure and making the plays good teams need to make to win big games.
“We once again had over 25 hits and that’s what good teams do. I felt we went flat early in the second game and found a way to fight and claw back into the game to win in extra innings.”
Frontczak noted that Niles turned four doubles plays in the two games.
“We really are finding ways to win now compared to early on in the season,” he said. “We have come a long way, but still have a great deal of work to do and I know the girls are ready for it.”