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Comets keep DK runners from reaching home

Delton Kellogg pitcher Erin Kapteyn tags out Coloma's Hannah Mathis after catching her in a rundown between third and home during their Division 3 Regional Semifinal Saturday in Coloma. (Photo by Perry Hardin) Coloma learned a year ago the near perfection it takes to advance deep into June on its way to winning the 2018 Division 3 State Championship.

The Comets kept their 2019 tournament run going a little longer with a 1-0 victory over the Delton Kellogg varsity softball team in the Division 3 Regional Semifinals in Coloma Saturday.

The Panthers outhit the Comets 7 to 2 on the afternoon, but couldn't get a runner to the plate despite threatening several times.

Coloma got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the second inning, and then carried that momentum to put together a single, a walk and a ground out, along with a couple stolen bases, to score the game's only run in the top of the third inning.

The Delton Kellogg end the season with a record of 30-8. The Coloma girls suffered their own one-run defeat Saturday, 3-2 to the Panthers' Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley Division rivals from Schoolcraft – who will take on Dundee in the state semifinals this afternoon (3 p.m. at Michigan State University) after a 14-6 win over Grandville Calvin Christian Tuesday in the state quarterfinals. 

Coloma junior Megan Koenigshof singled to center to open the top of the third inning against the Panthers Saturday. She stole second and third base as teammate Hannah Mathis worked a walk to put runners on the corners. Mathis took second with teammate Megan Neubecker at the plate.

Neubecker advanced Koenigshof to score with a ground-ball to Panther third baseman Lizzy Fichtner.

The Panthers managed a double play on a fly ball into right field, as Mathis failed to tag up at third, to get out of the inning without any more damage.

Hailey Buckner, Erin Kapteyn and Chloe Colwell put together consecutive singles to open the bottom of the second inning for the Delton Kellogg girls.

Koenigshof got a strike out for the first out of the inning. DK's Lauren Lebeck got a bunt down with one out, but it was scooped up by Koenigshof who fired home to force out Buckner. Lilly Timmerman flew out to the Comets' second baseman to bring an end to the inning.

Timmerman had a lead-off single in the bottom of the first inning, and a sacrifice bunt and a ground out got her to third, but a Koenigshof strike out ended that DK chance.

The chances kept coming for the Delton Kellogg girls. Katie Tobias and Fichtner worked back-to-back walks with one out in the bottom of the third. Lebeck and Timmerman knocked back-to-back singles into center field to open the bottom of the fifth.

In the top of the seventh, Kapteyn singled with one out and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Colwell. She promptly stole third, but after fouling off four straight 3-2 offerings the Panthers' Josie Lyons grounded out to the Comet first baseman to close out the ballgame.

All seven Delton Kellogg hits in the ballgame were singles. Kapteyn was 2-for-3 and Timmerman 2-for-4.

Kapteyn struck out seven in seven innings in the circle, walking five and allowing two singles.

Koenigshof struck out seven as well, walking two in the complete game victory.

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