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Rapid River sweeps Broncos

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Rapid River’s McKenzi Schram (left) is congratulated by Rapid River assistant coach Tim Belanger (right) as she rounds third base after a home run against Bark River-Harris Monday in Bark River.

BARK RIVER — While the temperatures were frigidly cold, the bats were hot for the Rapid River Rockets Monday afternoon as they picked up a doubleheader victory (6-3, 14-2) against the Bark River-Harris Broncos in Bark River.

Both games were shortened to six innings because of the brisk wind and near freezing temperatures. However, game two ended via the mercy rule after the fifth inning.

Rockets coach Tim Belanger said the wins came from improvements made since opening the season last week.

“Things went really well for us today,” said coach Belanger. “We addressed a couple things we needed to work on, and it looks like we got a couple of them figured out.

“The thing I liked is that the second game had zero errors. That’s a big step in the right direction for us.”

In the second game, the Rockets hit the ball well.

Cecilia Pilon was 3-4 with two doubles and an RBI. McKenzie Schram went 3-4 and had 4 RBIs. Schram also hit a two-run home run — her first at the varsity level — in the top of the third.

“That’s a big deal for her and a big deal for us,” said coach Belanger. “That was a no-doubter as soon as she got a hold of that one.”

Myah Pearson was also impressive for the Rockets. She batted a thousand while going 4-4.

“The bats were alive today,” said coach Belanger. “We loved it.”

Natalie Belanger picked up the wins pitching in both games for Rapid River.

In the first game, Belanger had 14 strikeouts while allowing four hits and two walks.

She had eight strikeouts with three hits and two bases on balls in the second game. Offensively, Belanger was 2-4 in both games with a two-run home run and three RBIs in the first and one RBI in the second.

The Broncos’ two runs in the second game came courtesy of a home run from Esther Oswald –who pitched the first game — in the bottom of the fifth to bring in Allison Richer who had doubled.

Though the result wasn’t what was hoped for, Arndt was pleased with some of the things he saw.

“We had a couple really nice hits out there, and at times we played okay defensively,” said Arndt. “But, other times, we looked like we’re pretty young.

“Just making them routine plays right now that’s something we have to work on, and that’s stuff we’ve talked about. Then, just getting our bats on the ball. Put it in play and make them make a play on us.”

Olivia Erikson handled duties on the mound in the second game for Bark River.

“It was nice to at least get on the board,” said Broncos coach Rob Arndt. “Just making them little steps right now and doing the little things right is things we need to work on.

“But, we’re improving. It didn’t show it on the scoreboard in that second game, though”

The Rockets will play Escanaba in Rapid River Wednesday while the Broncos host Superior Central for a doubleheader Friday.

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