Big Rapids Cardinal softball team finishes first in Central State Activities Association Gold Division while baseball team is second

HOWARD CITY — The Big Rapids softball team has set ambitious goals ahead of the start of the season.

One goal was to win every game in the conference.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cardinals accomplished that goal by securing the Central State Activities Association gold title by beating Tri County 14-0 and 16-0 at Tri County High School.

Game one ended after five innings via the mercy rule while game two ended in three innings.

Big Rapids finished undefeated at 14-0 in the conference for the 2022 season. The Cardinals clinched the title on Friday.

“We set that goal from day one and we’re really excited to tick it off right off the bat,” Big Rapids coach Dawn Thompson said. “It’s always our goal to win every game. That’s the approach we take and to build good habits.

The conference championship is the first for the Cardinals since 2008.

“As we picked up more wins and got closer to the end of the conference season, we knew a league title was a reality,” Thompson said.

Rylie Haist led the winners from the pitching circle in Game 1. She pitched a perfect game in five innings on strikes with nine batters.

Mackenzie Ososki led Big Rapids at the plate with three hits and two RBIs while Zoe Taylor added three hits and an RBI.

Haist, Josie Cornell and Cailin Knoop contributed two points for the winners.

Knoop was the Cardinals’ game-winning pitcher in Game 2. She pitched three innings, striking out three. She kicked.
Offensively, Cornell led the Big Rapids offense with a 4-for-4 performance and three RBIs.

Knoop, Ososki and Marissa Warren each had one hit and two RBIs.

“Both of our pitchers did a great job tonight,” Thompson said. “Our defense also performed well and really made some good plays. Obviously our offense is clicking right now and we hope it keeps rolling.

The Cardinals are now 26-2 overall for the season.


Big Rapids secure second place

HOWARD CITY — Big Rapids swept Tri County 13-0, 9-2 in CSAA Gold action on Tuesday.

In Game 1, “Ben Knuth pitched all seven innings and threw a gem,” Big Rapids coach Sam Daugherty said. “For Game 2, Brody Sleeper pitched all seven innings and gave up an unearned run. Brody also threw a great all round game.

Big Rapids is 15-13 overall and 10-4 in the CSAA Gold Conference for second place behind league champion Reed City

“Cadillac canceled our game on Thursday, so unless we find a last minute replacement, our next game will be against Clare on Tuesday in the district game at Gladwin,” Daugherty said.

In Game 1, Grant Kidder had two hits and three runs scored, Sleeper had four hits and three RBIs, and Wil Strickler had three hits and two RBIs. Knuth allowed only two hits.

In Game 2, Vennix was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, Strickler had two hits and two runs scored. Bradyn Foster had three hits and a run scored and Jacob McLeod had two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Sleeper had six strikeouts.

“Those are outstanding pitching performances for Brody and Ben,” Daugherty said.

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