Outside observers might see Hillsdale's 1-0 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional softball win over Grand Valley State as a massive upset. When No. 8 seeded teams beat a No. 1 seed in a college sports tournament, "upset" is not an unreasonable marker to apply.
But those observers don't know this Charger team.
Freshman pitcher Erin Hunt struck out 10 batters and won her school record-tying 20th game in shutting out the Lakers, the 2018 GLIAC champions. Hillsdale will now face the winner of the Southern Indiana-University of Indianapolis winner in the Region #1 semifinal at 11 a.m. Friday. The win makes Hillsdale 25-14 on the season while GVSU falls to 41-8.
Hunt once again blew batters away with her power, and made pitches count the most when the opposition was threatening to score. The Lakers stranded eight runners on base, including leaving them loaded in one inning. Her 20 wins ties the single-season school record set by Ann Gapa back in 1988.
The lone run of the game came thanks to the Chargers' two most potent and consistent hitters. Junior Katie Kish led off the sixth winning with a single, then advanced to second on a well-executed sacrifice bunt by Amanda Marra. Junior Jessica Taylor, fighting a cold over the past couple days, stepped up by smacking a single to center, enabling Kish to score from second. Kish expertly slid head-first into home plate and avoided a tag by the GVSU catcher to give Hillsdale the coveted lead.
Kish was 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Sydney San Juan threw out a base-stealer and had a double in the win.