It wasn’t easy, but Western Michigan Christian came from behind Thursday on a hat trick by sophomore Alexys Riksen to defeat host Tri-Unity Christian 4-2 and win their second consecutive River Valley Conference title.
WMC is 11-3-2 on the season and 7-0 in the conference with one conference game remaining.
The Defenders got on the board midway through the first half, but just 12 seconds later, Lady Warrior Mykayla Denison took the ball down the field and dished off to Riksen, who tied the score at 1-1.
With just over two minutes left in the half, Brea Frein assisted on a Riksen goal to put the Lady Warriors up 2-1 at intermission.
But Tri-Unity knotted the score early in the second half before Riksen found the net for the third time and Julie Merz added an insurance goal to make it 4-2. Freshman Jessica Kinnucan assisted both.
WMC outshot Tri-Unity 12-9 and keeper Lindsey Johnson had seven saves.
The Warriors are off until they close out their conference schedule Wednesday against Covenant Christian.
“This ends a stretch of a lot of games in 10 days. We were fortunate to get out of Tri-Unity with the win, WMC coach David Hulings said. “We played well, but they never quit playing and put pressure on us right to the end. It was a good run to see what we are like under pressure. Now we have some time off before the districts. We need the rest.”
WMC GOLFERS FINISH NINTH IN BIG RAPIDS
The WMC golf team competed in the Cardinal Invite at the Katke Country Club in Big Rapids Thursday and finished ninth out of 19 schools.
Alma repeated as champions with a score of 322. Alma’s Sean Sommerville and NorthPointe’s Collin McGinnis were tied for medalist with 76s, but McGinnis was declared medalist after he chipped a shot in for a birdie on the third playoff hole.
The Warriors fired a team score of 361 and Alec Breit was team medalist with a 78. John Larson had a 88, Noah Wildeman 96 and Erik Bean 99.
BASEBALL FALLS TO COVENANT
Walks and errors spelled doom for the Western Michigan Christian Warriors in a River Valley baseball game on Thursday.
The Warriors dropped a 15-5 decision to host Covenant Christian.
Christian Brower had two singles for WMC. Eric Bourdo, Logan Waller, Bailey Heykoop and Jared Varnado each had a single.
“We gave up 10 runs in the first two innings,” WMC coach Darin Waller said. “We need to eliminate errors and walks which put us in bad situations.”
JUNIOR VARSITY: WMC won 14-9.
SOFTBALL SWEPT BY MUSKEGON
The Lady Warriors dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Muskegon by scores of 18-1 (3 innings) and 13-10. In the first game, Lorelle Hallenbeck got WMC's lone hit while Jamie Poel scored the lone run after reaching base on a walk. Hallenbeck pitched three innings, allowing seven hits while striking out seven.
In the second game, WMC jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first, but Muskegon fought back and eventually took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Big Reds were the beneficiaries of 10 WMC errors. Leading the way offensively for the Lady Warriors were Anna Sweetman (two doubles, two runs scored), Emilee Pell (2-for-4, one run, one RBI), Sara Katje (1-for-4, one run scored, two RBIs), and Ariana Brondyke (1-for-4, one run scored, two RBIs). Sweetman and Hallenbeck shared the pitching duties, combining for three hits allowed, five strikeouts, and one earned run.