Pete Barrows

Sports Journalist — Pete.Barrows12@gmail.com

Archive for April 2013

It’s a runner thing

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Track and Field program remember victims

Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

We all run, albeit different routes and paces, as we make our way through the marathon of life. Some run to get where they’re going, some run to escape where they’ve been, some run just to run. Upon the conclusion of Monday’s 116th annual running of the Boston Marathon, the race was tragically cut short as an explosion placed near the finish line was triggered by an unknown assailant.

The race ended for three, including an 8-year old child, in death and over 150 others suffered injuries as a result of the carnage.

“There is no doubt this is a senseless act that hits so close to home due to the fact that we runners are so familiar with the Boston Marathon and all of us have participated and attended so many road races over the course of our lives,” said Grand Valley State University track and field head coach Jerry Baltes. “It’s just so sad and disheartening to know that three lives have been lost and so many others are changed forever.”

GVSU graduates Mike Camilleri (‘01), Karie McDonald (‘11), Kylen Cieslak (‘11) and Sarah Gryniewicz (‘10) all participated Monday and although none were physically harmed, the impact inspired empathy from runners everywhere, the GVSU track and field program included.

“It was a tragic event that in someway affected all of the running community,” said GVSU distance coach and former professional racer Nick Polk. “The running community is a very connected group of people. Some of my closest friends were there either competing, watching, or working at the event.”

In a sport preoccupied with every fraction of a second, the results instantly lost their significance Monday. Instead of jockeying for position, it sufficed to simply be unified as a part of a larger group.

“The tragedy changed the perspective of the event for everyone,” Polk said. “Whether you had a great race or a bad race – you didn’t feel the accomplishment of the great race or the sort of selfish pity that comes from the bad race. You thought of others and the meaning behind why there are 27,000 other people running a marathon together that day.”

In the darkness of tragedy, it’s not always easy to spot the light of beauty. No matter color, creed, gender, size, background or shoe brand preference, those that put foot to pavement every morning, and those that take to the trails once every couple of years all share a bond.

“When you watch the video, it is amazing how many people ran to help and assist those in need when they had no idea what might happen next,” Baltes said. “That makes me proud to be a part of our sport and to know that there are so many people willing to do good for others with no expectation of anything in return. We all need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves are we willing to do good for others no matter what the situation.

It takes a brave person to be willing to do so, and I like to hope I would have been one of those people running into help those in need. It is so easy as bystanders and outsiders to be angry with whoever is responsible for this gruesome act and rightfully so, but as I shared with our distance squad this morning – we must all be bigger than the coward that is behind this by finding ways to do good for others when good is not asked of us. We all are able to do good for others no matter what the situation might be. All it takes is a little extra effort.”

GVSU will be in action this week as the Lakers are scheduled to participate n multiple meets between Thursday (Apr. 18) and Saturday (Apr. 20), including the Mt. SAC Relays, Brian Clay and Beach Invites, all three of which will be ran in Cal., and the Al Owens Classic which will be held at the Laker Track & Field Stadium on Friday (Apr. 19).

“My challenge to myself and all out there is to simply do good for others and find a way to make the lives around all of us just a little bit better,” Baltes said. “As many people have said since yesterday we cannot live in fear or stop our lives, but as we move forward it is only fitting to remember and honor those in the tragedy by doing good for others (friend or stranger) with no expectation of anything in return. I just wish it would not take tragedies like this to bring people together and to care so deeply for others.”

pbarrows@lanthorn.com

To read the original post “Track and Field program remember victims”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

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Written by peterdbarrows

April 18, 2013 at 2:19 am

Thunder and Lightning

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Softball sweeps both series to go 4-0 over the weekend

Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

Lightning never strikes in the same place twice, or the so the old adage goes, although the 2013 rendition of Grand Valley State University softball has refused to let the adage stand without putting it to the test.
With the bases loaded, seniors Kayleigh Bertram and Katie Martin each belted grand slams in the same game.

“We had two grand slams in that game,” said GVSU head coach Doc Woods. “Katie Martin hit one and then Kayleigh Bertram – that really sets the tone in that second game (against Wayne State Saturday afternoon). One was in the first inning and one was in the second inning. They hit them well – the wind was blowing in and they got them out.”

Earlier in the season (Mar. 30), during a 16-run first inning game one outpour against Lake Erie, Bertram and Martin hit the first grand slams of their respective and distinguished careers. The game ended in a 23-0 mercy. Two weeks later, little had changed as the Lakers dispatched of the Wayne State Warriors 17-2. It was the seventh time this season GVSU has produced double digit run totals in a game and the third time the Lakers have surpassed the 15-run mark. Just as before, Bertram went first, contributing her second career grand slam in the first inning with a flash. Martin’s four-run shot followed in the second inning.

“I had the second one, Kayleigh had the first one,” Martin said. “That was pretty cool, especially because the last time we both of us hit a grand slam was in the same game, too. The funny part is that neither of us had ever had one (until this season). Two times in a row.”

Winning the first game of the doubleheader against Wayne State 7-2, GVSU departed from downtown Detroit with two more victories safely secured. Heading into Saginaw Valley State University to play on Sunday, for once this season GVSU seemed to get the better half of the weather coin. As snow flurries accumulated on GVSU turf, the Lakers played in the sun.

“We just came out really excited and we definitely wanted to take all four (games) this weekend, starting with Wayne State,” Martin said. “We just took it one game at a time and hit the ball – everyone was on. It’s great when every single person on the field is on.”

The Lakers grinded out the first of two games against SVSU 7-6. Freshman pitcher Sara Andrasik was called on to close the game out, which she did neatly, before rolling out a 2-0 shutout in game two.

“Well that was a great game, too (game one against SVSU),” Martin said. “Just battling – we’d score, they’d score, we’d score. We had the lead the whole game, which is always a good thing. We just gutted it out, had some good timing hits, got runners in when we needed to and had some homeruns, which was great.”

In the first at-bat of the second inning of the second game against SVSU, junior Miranda Cleary propelled a ball into the stratosphere to put GVSU on the board.

“That was the longest homerun I have ever seen in my life,” Martin said. “It was ridiculous – it went over a (set of) bleachers. That ball probably went 250-275 (yards), at least.”

Woods, who has had a front row seat to many a homerun during his 23-year tenure, couldn’t recall seeing a more powerful blast.

“Well today in that second game, the 2-0, Miranda Cleary hit one of the longest homeruns I’ve seen,” Woods said. “She hit it out of the park, over their soccer stands and then it landed in the middle of their soccer field. It was not cheap, it was really crushed.”

With games scheduled back at home Wednesday beginning at 3 p.m. against Lake Erie, the 27-3 (15-1 GLIAC) Lakers are anxious to continue their winning ways in the ten scheduled games left in the season.

The weather has been unpredictable this spring and will continue to be an unknown as the 2013 season proceeds. The GVSU results however have been steady, especially when their cumulative hitting, pitching and fielding talents have collided to create the perfect storm.

“It’s great to get four wins, especially on the road,” Martin said. “We haven’t been on the road in a while so it’s really exciting and just fun, you know? Just doing it.”

pbarrows@lanthorn.com

To read the original post “Softball sweeps both series to go 4-0 over the weekend”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

Written by peterdbarrows

April 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

Home run queen

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Martin’s consistency and power key her to numerous GV records

Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University slugger Katie Martin has yet to call her own shot, but the bat-busting and record-breaking senior is quietly quilting a Babe Ruthian lore and legacy for herself at GVSU.

A pitcher initially, like Ruth, Martin split time between third base and the mound her freshman season. As Martin’s career progressed, she gravitated away from the field and the mound, embracing her full potential at the plate as a designated hitter, like Ruth.

“Of course you’re going to do what the team needs you to do,” Martin said. “If that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, then throw me in there, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. At first, it was definitely an adjustment, but now I love it. You have nothing else to worry about. You see what the pitcher’s throwing, you’re just full on focused on hitting and after you adjust to it, there’s absolutely no problem with it. I enjoy it, I’m still in the game, and I love it.”

GVL / Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews

At the final junction of her career, the records are continuing to pile up – Martin holds sixGVSU career records – and a home run earlier this season set three career marks (259 hits, 164 runs and 47 home runs, now the GLIAC mark) at once. By the time Martin’s finished (she’s currently second behind Kim Biskup in both walks and RBI), she, like Ruth, might not have any records left to break.

“It’s been fun and it’s still fun,” Martin said. “I’m excited to finish the year. I’m going through it and I’m not exactly realizing everything. I don’t know when it’s going to hit me exactly, but it’s cool, quite an accomplishment and it’s been fun.”

With so many records to her name, it’s become difficult for Martin to pick just one to take pride in. A prolific hitter is not defined by solely by stats however, a truth not lost on Martin.

“(The record I’m most proud of is) probably the batting average (career .432 hitter), which I know is not concrete yet depending on how I finish this year,” Martin said. “That was probably my favorite one just because I think it shows the consistency throughout the year, that I did it all in one year.”

More importantly than the records, the Lakers (23-3, 11-1 GLIAC) are winning and the senior laden roster (eight in total) has made major contributions, on and off the diamond, to ensure the W’s continue to pile up. For Martin and the rest of her senior peers, the winning mentality and the accumulation of record-breaking production required patience and practice to perfect.

“Katie Martin was my roommate as a freshman, I would go back and room with Katie any day,” said senior catcher Emily Holt. “I think the seniors we had, we came in and we’ve been through everything – the ups, the downs, we’ve had good seasons, we’ve had bad.

After a slight statistical regression in 2012 following her Daktronics Player of the Year sophomore season, Martin, who currently has 35 hits, eight home runs, 11 doubles, 70 total bases and 37 RBI is right back on pace to end her career at a peak. With 47 strikeouts and 47 home runs in her 606 career at-bats, an average of one each every 13 plate appearances, Martin has mastered the art of slugging balance and went back through her career to re-establish the skill in the 2013.

“I was looking through my three years here and my sophomore year was definitely my biggest year here so far,” Martin said. “I thought about that year, what I did, looked at stats a little bit and I struck out a lot that year – but I hit better. I did this the summer coming into this year and thought about it. Last year, my junior year, I didn’t swing my bat as much and I didn’t strike out as much, but I swung more my sophomore year. This year I went in with the mentality that I’m going to swing a lot and be really aggressive and I don’t care if I strikeout, I’m swinging the bat. I know what cuts to take and I go up there every time thinking ‘you’re going to swing hard’.”

After coming up short in last year’s 45-win campaign, Martin and the rest of the Lakers are hungry to fulfill championship aspirations. If GVSU is to be successful in that aim, it will take the entire team working in conjunction with Martin’s bat. No matter how the 2013 season completes, championship or not, or how many records are broken, Martin’s GVSU legend and status as a teammate are secure. For Martin, it’s not about Martin or records – it’s about winning and winning as a team.

“Half my stats I couldn’t have done without my team,” Martin said. “I think about my RBI’s and my hits – if I didn’t have my teammates there cheering me on and being on base. You always have to take everything back to the team.”

pbarrows@lanthorn.com

To read the original post “Home run queen”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

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April 11, 2013 at 8:04 am

GV students gain invaluable experience while working the Final Four

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Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

The Michigan Wolverines may have been the most notable collection, but they weren’t the only representatives from the mitten state present at this year’s Final Four hosted in Atlanta, Ga.

A 16-member contingency of Grand Valley State University students also made the trip south to participate in the festivities.

Photo provided by Kollin Currie

Photo provided by Kollin Currie

Working through the summer of 2012 to establish a Meeting Professionals International chapter on GVSU’s campus, senior and group president Erin Lecker and junior Stephanie Kramer, the club’s vice president, were intent on extending at least one volunteer trip offer through the club. In the inaugural year of operation, Lecker and the rest of the 18 or so active meeting professionals could have scarcely imagined the caliber of opportunity that would present itself to them.

“At the beginning of the year, we had kind of talked about taking a volunteer trip to gain some more experience in event management,” Lecker said. “I had thought the Final Four, just because it’d be an awesome opportunity, and when I realized it was in Atlanta, my brother works for the company (contemporary services corporation) that we ended up working for. It fell into place perfectly.”

In the afternoon of April 2, 16 members departed in a carpool and drove through the night all the way to the stoop of the Georgia Dome to fulfill their orientation with CSC. Save for a Sunday off in which some members chose to attend an Atlanta Braves game, a free concert held downtown and the college dunk contest won by fellow Michigander Doug Anderson, a senior forward from the University of Detroit Mercy, the trip was a whirlwind tour comprised of 12-hour days (usually starting around noon) and once in a lifetime experiences.

“The experience was incredible,” said GVSU junior and MPI member Kollin Currie. “We were so close to the action and got paid for it. (We) witnessed the interior working of what it takes to put on an event of this magnitude. The weekend attendance was over 140,000.”

Downtime was scarcely experienced by any of the roughly estimated 1,200 CSC volunteers who assisted tirelessly in a variety of fashions to ensure each component of the overall event went off without a hitch. GVSU MPI members alone had a full plate to concern themselves with.

“We worked the college all-star game, which included a concert by Gym Class Heroes, four open team practices and all three games,” Currie said. “We all worked the floor level, checked credentials during these events, were security and did tasks like walking in the team, monitoring the student sections, escorting in VIP guests etc.”

The work wasn’t without perks, however, and included benefits far more exotic than dental. GVSUMPI members, who were cognizant that they wouldn’t have been afforded nearly the same experience without the facilitation of CSC job duties, were grateful for the opportunity.

Photo provided by Kollin Currie

Photo provided by Kollin Currie

“The section I monitored had the Fab Five in it, Denard (Robinson), the families of all the players, Charles Woodson, Zack Novak (former Michigan basketball captain), Desmond Howard,” Currie said. “I rubbed shoulders with NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Patrick Ewing, Oscar Robertson, Bob Knight, Will Ferrell and the whole Anchorman crew, Christian Laettner and Gary Payton. Just unreal and so many others.”

Following a bitter 82-76 to the Louisville Cardinals, the University of Michigan Wolverines departed for home. Taking the cue, the GVSU MPI chapter followed suit and again powered through the drive in one straight haul on Tuesday, a week after it had all began. The experiences gained, particularly in the field of event management, and packed in with the return luggage were invaluable. The memories made were even more so.

“(My) fondest memory will be experiencing such a historic moment and being up in the action,” Currie said. “Being in the Michigan section and 30-feet from the floor (all GVSU members were close to floor) for the national title game and just seeing all the behind the scenes work that it takes to bring a big event like this together. There was so much energy in the building and it was a once in a lifetime experience I will tell my kids about.”

pbarrows@lanthorn.com

To read the original post “GV students gain invaluable experience while working the Final Four”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

Written by peterdbarrows

April 11, 2013 at 8:00 am

Track and field continues to build momentum towards GLIACs

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Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

The heavy winds on Saturday afternoon weren’t enough to slow down Grand Valley State University’s track and field teams.

With eight combined provisional qualifying marks reached in East Lansing at the Spartan Invite, the Lakers are sailing smoothly through the early portion of the 2013 outdoor season and by all indications, they are prepared to continue full speed ahead.

“The weather brought some challenges with wind gusts of 20-30 miles an hour at times,” saidGVSU head coach Jerry Baltes. “I thought our student athletes had great focus and showed toughness throughout the day.”

Senior Sam Lockhart took a week off from breaking records, but was a dominating presence in the throwers pit, as is her custom. Lockhart’s discus launch of 51.56 meters (169’2’’) was good for an automatic qualifying mark, as was her 57.98 meter (190’3’’) hammer throw toss, the third-farthest mark in Division II this season.

Senior Katelyn Fox and freshman Laura Schroeder, who finished fifth and third in the hammer throw, contributed provisional qualifying marks of their own in the event with marks of 50.57 meters (165’11’’) and 51.46 meters (168’10’’), respectively.

Not to be outdone, seniors Donny Stiffler and Matt Armstrong added provisional qualifying marks in the shotput on the men’s side, finishing second and third in the event with respective throws of 16.31 meters (53’6.25’’) and 16.28 meters (53’5’’).

“Sam (Lockhart) is an amazing athlete,” said GVSU sprint, hurdle and relay coach Keith Roberts. “She sets the tone for the entire team. Coach (Blaine) Maag has done an amazing job with her and the rest of the throws squad.”

The men’s division of GVSU’s program third and final provisional mark of the day came when freshman Sean Wells took first place in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.51 seconds.

Freshman Ethan Barnes, who won the 800-meter dash in one minute and 54.26 seconds, sophomore Brent VanEnk, who took first in the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.72 seconds, Nathaniel Hammersmith, who outpaced the field in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.57 seconds and Tendo Lukwago cleared the 2.1-meter mark to tie for second in the high jump.

On the ladies side, senior Jennifer Fuller won high jump after clearing a height of 1.65 meters, junior Kalena Franklin took third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.86 seconds and junior Andrea Kober, who ran second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.99, all produced noteworthy results and all three recorded provisional times. Sophomore Hannah Osborn, who finished second in the steeplechase with a time of 10:51.59, rounded out the day for the Lakers.

GVSU associate head coach Lou Andreadis took GVSU pole vaulters to Big Rapids for the Bulldog open and his vaulters, although separated from the rest of the squad, produced similarly. With vaults of 3.4 meters (11’1.75’’) by freshman Alexandra Kitz and 4.45 meters (14’7.25’’) by junior Jake Elbers, the Lakers won the events on both the men’s and women’s side.

“The Michigan State invite gave us an opportunity to take the next step in the outdoor season,” Roberts said. “Right now, we are focusing on staying ahead in the classroom and putting ourselves in position to peak for championship season.”

This Thursday, Apr. 11, the Lakers will travel south to Knoxville, Tenn. to participate in the Sea Relays. They’ll return home Saturday Apr. 13 just in time for the squad to once again divide and conquer between Hillsdale College (sprinters) and Western Kentucky University for competition.

“We had some nice results and a handful of lifetime best along with many season bests,” Baltes said. “We will need to stay focused these next three weeks on keeping a good balance between our academics and continued progress in practice and meets so that we can be ready to finish out the semester and season out on a great note.”

pbarrows@Lanthorn.com

To read the original post “Track and field continues to build momentum towards GLIACs”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

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April 8, 2013 at 5:57 am

Andrasik throws first no-hitter at GV since 2008

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Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

Imagine if you will the Grand Valley State University softball team as a stylish, 1985 DeLorean, retrofitted with a flux capacitor, gull-wing doors and fancy new uniforms. With a pair of wins against rival Ferris State (15-9, 8-4 GLIAC) Sunday afternoon following a ‘Back to the Future’ promotional tailgate, the Lakers are cruising along at 88 MPH, meshing with history and creating their own as they go along.

Freshman pitcher Sara Andrasik tossed the first no-hitter of her career and the first at GVSU since Lori Andejelich beat Mercyhurst 9-0 with a no-no on Mar. 29, 2008. It was also the fourth time this year that Andrasik has dished out a double-digit dosing of strikeouts – 13,12,11 and 10 K’s today in a 1-0 victory over Ferris.

“It’s a great feeling,” Andrasik said. “Everybody did their job on the field to back me up and it’s awesome to get that first no-hitter. It’s always a great feeling (Andrasik pitched three no-hitters and a perfect game in high school), but it’s even better doing it at the collegiate level – it means more.”

A dramatic sliding basket catch at the fence made by charging junior leftfielder Brittney Taylor sealed the game, the day and the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh. Record-breaking performances are becoming so commonplace at GVSU, the time alterations aren’t always readily recognized.

GVL / Robert Mathews Junior Briauna Taylor celebrating after making a diving catch against FSU.

GVL / Robert Mathews
Junior Briauna Taylor celebrating after making a diving catch against FSU.

“She hit it and I was just thinking this better not go out,” Taylor said. “I knew it was between me and Nellie (Kosola, senior centerfielder) and I didn’t hear her so I just kept running. I knew I was just going to make a run for it and see what could happen, climb a fence if I have to. Right before that, we were saying that we’re climbing fences because they’re not about to hit a home run.  I honestly had no idea (Andrasik was pitching a no-hitter). Good for her.”

The hit, scored runs and home run records had held stagnant at GVSU for over a decade heading into the 2013 season. Less than a week before Andrasik put an end to GVSU’s five year no-hitter hiatus, Katie Martin’s 1.21 gigawatt time-warping bomb against Northwood succinctly rewrote all three. Continuing her strong year, Martin put GVSU on the board in the first inning after she hit a deep ball to centerfield good for a double. Kosola scored, giving GVSU a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.

“Katie (Martin) helped us, almost hit one out if the wind wasn’t blowing in, but we were able to score that run and some after it so that was great,” said GVSU head coach Doug Woods. “The first game (which GVSU won 4-2), we got timely hitting at the right time. People getting on base and it was sort of up and down the lineup, just not top, bottom, whatever, we had some contributions all the way through it which was great. We got the singles and the doubles and moved runners. We did a nice job of moving them down with the bunts and we executed real well, I thought.”

Senior Hannah Santora, who is now 13-0 on the year, is only three wins behind Jen Mackson’s 16-0 start in 2003 and was her usual gritty self in the game one victory. Santora figures to get at least eight more starts this season and as she climbs up the list of GVSU career strikeout elite, history is well within her grasp as well.

“Hannah (Santora), Hannah pitched well- she’s a battler,” Woods said. “First inning, I think they had two on. I said ‘Hannah, you’re making it interesting, a little more than I’d like to see’, but she works and goes after it.”

GVL / Robert Mathews Senior Hannah Santora pitching against FSU during the Lakers double-header this past Sunday.

GVL / Robert Mathews
Senior Hannah Santora pitching against FSU during the Lakers double-header this past Sunday.

Five of the top 11 home run hitters in Laker history are currently on the roster – Katie Martin (47,1st), junior Miranda Cleary (30, 3rd), Junior Briauna Taylor (20, 5th), senior Kayleigh Bertram (19, 6th) and senior Emily Jones (15, 11th), Three of the top average hitters all-time are accounted for as well – Katie Martin (.432, 1st), Briauna Taylor (.404, 3rd) and Nellie Kosola (.387, 5th), who is also on pace for the all-time triple record and top five all-time finishes in career runs and hits. The history, 23 years of which have been spent under Doc Woods (not Brown), makes GVSU the softball program that is. The future, which considering the way the Lakers are playing at the moment appears bright, holds what the program could become – a champion.

GVSU, now 23-3 on the year (11-1 in the GLIAC) will be back in action Wednesday at 3 p.m. with a doubleheader against Lake Superior State (7-10, 5-9 GLIAC) in a battle of the Lakers before entering a stretch of eight consecutive road games to be played over the next two weekends. With only 14-games (six at home) separating the Lakers from postseason play, GVSU is playing well on both sides of the ball and the history is ripe for the taking.

“I think we’re getting better competition now so it’s really a big test for us to see how we can fair against some of these different teams,” Taylor said. “Our defense has really held up and we’re doing a great job so we just got to keep going.”

barrowsp@lanthorn.com

To read the edited post “Andrasik throws first no-hitter at GV since 2008”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

Written by peterdbarrows

April 8, 2013 at 5:54 am

GLIAC’s new home run queen

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Martin breaks records, GV splits games

Pete Barrows

GVL Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University senior Katie Martin had made the trip home before, 46 times in fact, and knows the address by heart. Sitting on the stoop of history, Martin decided to break the door down with one sturdy chop of her bat. She didn’t knock or even wait for the doorbell—she didn’t have to. There was no need to prolong the inevitable any further. EJ

“I knew she was coming outside,” Martin said.

Just one pitch after junior Briauna Taylor launched a two-run round tripper, Martin followed suit with a shot that won’t soon be forgotten by any remaining in the crowd assembled at GVSU’s facilities. With one swell-swoop, Martin took full command of the GLIACcareer home run record (47) and toppled GVSU’s career hit (259) and run (164) records simultaneously. If the hat trick swing weren’t enough on it’s own, Martin is also GVSU’s career leader in batting average, doubles and total bases. It might have been easier if history had just left out a welcome mat.

“That ball was tattooed,” said GVSU head coach Doug Woods. “That was not a cheap home run, that was out there and it’s great to break the home run record and all that with a hit like that.”

Game two of GVSU’s doubleheader against Northwood University concluded in a 9-5 defeat, the Lakers first loss in 14 games. If a loss was ever dowsed in whipped cream with a fresh cherry on top, Martin’s historic home run that came in the games final inning was it.

“It’s kind of an awkward feeling right now because it’s never good to loose, but I accomplished a lot with that hit – it’s a weird feeling,” Martin said.

Three pitchers­—freshman Sara Andrasik, sophomore Sarah Wyse and junior Kayla Hurd—all saw action in game two. GVSU hasn’t had to worry much about run support for most of the year, but with three runs allowed in the third and two runs allowed in innings four through six, it wasn’t the Laker pitching staff’s banner outing.

“The whole bottom line is too many walks in that game,” Woods said. “With eight walks you just have trouble beating anybody.”

After battling to a 4-2 victory in game one, there were plenty of other positives to take away. Briauna Taylor, who had three hits and two RBI to accompany her home run, reestablished her power presence at the plate. Freshman Chelsea Horvath, who was the beneficiary of two manufactured runs on the day as a pinch runner, also impressed as the Lakers continued to showcase their attention to detail and small ball capabilities.

“We’re hitting the ball good,” Martin said. “Yeah, we didn’t necessarily get the hits, but we’re hitting the ball out there and that’s all you can do. They’re go to make outs and just so happens we hit right to them today – it happens. We’re ready to go (for Saturday), I’m sure. Pretty sure everyone has a little fire in their belly now from that game, so we’ll come out strong.”

Senior centerfielder Nellie Kosola dinged a two-run triple standing up in the bottom of the fourth of game one, her second triple of 2013, and now only one away from tying the GVSU career mark (11) held by Julie Martin, is flirting with history herself. Kosola’s nine putouts on the day, several of which were made at the fence and out of her territory, also highlighted her day.

“She (Kosola) did awesome today,” Martin said. “Diving, catching balls that are right and left, sometimes even in leftfield.”

Despite GVSU’s 21-3 overall record (9-1 in the GLIAC), there is plenty to continue to improve as the season builds. For Saturday’s doubleheader against Ferris State University, improved defense figures to be an item on the top of the list.

“That’s softball sometimes,” Woods said. “Some days you get it, sometimes you don’t. We were good, Hannah pitched well and we got enough offense for her. We did not field well in the first game and that gave them a couple chances that we shouldn’t have. We’re going to have to clean that up before Saturday. I’m pretty content, just not happy with the defense in a couple of situations today. Last week in six games, I think we had one error and that’s remarkable. You know that can’t continue the whole time, but you like it to.”

The games are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. as the Lakers unveil their fresh white Diamond Queen Henley jersey and pants from Adidas and gray Adidas Excelsior Pro TPU Low cleats. Pizza Hut Pizza and Monster Energy drinks will be provided for all GVSU fans inclined to attend ‘A Back to the Future’ titled tailgate at 12:30 p.m. The Lakers don’t intend to deviate from their winning ways anytime soon, but with falling records and new digs, embracing the times is just a part of GVSU’s program.

“It’s a nice promotion, hopefully the weather cooperates and hopefully we play well,” Woods said.

pbarrows@lanthorn.com

To read the original post “GLIAC’s new home run queen”, click here at the Lanthorn online.

Written by peterdbarrows

April 4, 2013 at 6:09 am