After not doing much at the plate for three innings, the Indians bats woke up and made some noise. Taylor Bell slapped a 2-run single to center field to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth, and the Indians erupted for five more runs en route to a 9-3 victory in the regular season finale for both teams.
Bell was one of five Holt batters that had two hits or more to lead the Indians 18-hit barrage against Howell Central pitching. Senior infielder Madison Kettler and junior catcher Marissa Peek swung the big bats going for 4 for 4 and 4 for 5 respectively. Peak also scored twice and Kettler scored a run.
“The first few innings I think we were just missing it and we were being aggressive and weren’t hitting the ball but in that (fourth) inning our hitters squared it up real nice,” Bell said.
The Spartans scored a run in the bottom of the third as Claudia King doubled with one out and scored off an RBI-single from Liz Harmon for a 1-0 lead.
Holt rattled the bats against Howell Central hurler Loren Harrison in the top of the fourth. Trinity Busby hit a bases-loaded singled to plate a run and tie it 1-1.
Then Bell singled to center to score two more runs to put the Indians up two runs. “The key to that at bat was I knew I had to go up there bases-loaded and had to hit it,” Bell said. “I got one right down the middle and hit it up the middle. It was good to get those runs ahead.”
Holt (23-5) went on to bat through the order, while adding five more runs. Indians starter Bailee Zemianek put the final touch on the rally with a two-run homer over the left field fence, making it 8-1.
“We kind of came out asleep early and both teams were looking ahead to districts but we still out nine (runs) on the board, so I can’t complain too much,” Holt coach Joel Adam said. “We got eight runs in the fourth inning, we batted around in the inning and got a couple of suns ball which helped.”
Mandy Hansen singled home the Indians’ final run in the sixth. Howell Central (15-10) got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on a Lindsey Powell home run and Kaitlyn Chadwick’s homer in the seventh off Holt reliever Carly Nolde to wrap up the scoring.
Zemianek pitched four innings and allowed just one earned run to get the win. Nolde gave up one run, one earned run on four hits, struck out four and walked one in three innings of relief.
Holt opens Class 4, District 8 playoff play on Thursday against Battle in Troy at 6 p.m. Howell Central begins Class 4, District 7 action on Wednesday at home at 4 p.m. with a semifinal game against the winner of Fort Zumwalt West and Fort Zumwalt North. Both district championships are set for Friday afternoon at 4:01 p.m.