Paige Moore connected on the middle goal of a 3-0 victory over Lansing Christian 4/9
The home crowd had gathered up for the first time after a long winter, bundled up, but excited for the early spring matchup when the Lansing Christian Pilgrims faced off against the St. Johns Redwings Tuesday night in Lansing. The home team fought valiantly but the Redwings used goals by Brooke Faber, Paige Moore and Mackenzie Otberg to secure the 3-0 victory.
St. Johns got the first goal in the game late in the first half on a nice push by Redwings Junior Brooke Faber who got one in from the nearside which gave St. Johns 1-0 lead heading into the half. They came back out with renewed energy in the second half and blitzed the Pilgrims early and often. They dominated the time of possession and consistently had Lansing Christian back on their heels. Redwings Senior Paige Moore took advantage when she launched a shot over the Pilgrims interior defense and beyond the diving reach of their goalie. It was an effort and sequence that St. Johns head coach Sam Sibilski was pleased with.
"The last two games were very close games for us, we lost by one goal in each game. We knew we were about there we just had to put it together and the first half we were trying to iron out the creases. In the second half it felt like it came together with a little bit more confidence. We were happy to see that." Sibilski commented post game. "Paige Moore, who has committed to Alma, was our top scorer last year and we expect to see that again this year. She had a great strike for the finish."
This game was the culmination of a journey for the Redwings that began deep into the off season as St. Johns freshman Payten Beebee discussed postgame. "We've been lifting since October and we've been putting a lot of work in the gym before this. We had a talk about how even with all the lifting we aren't where we want to be necessarily physically. Through practices we are definitely getting there and we are doing a lot as a team. It definitely feels good to get a win this early - they're a really good team. Coming off of two state titles it was really good to get in there and take a win from them…it was good for our team and a good motivator."
Lansing Christian is a team that is resetting itself. After two banner raising season, this group of Pilgrims has to set their own identity. It's a challenge that coach VandeKopple recognizes. "Not much surprised me on our effort tonight, we pride ourselves on playing really hard. We have three returning starters from last year and we are incorporating a lot of new, younger players and that's always going to take time. When you go up against a team like St. Johns with Sam coaching them you know they are going to be organized and they are going to create good chances and that's part of the reason we play teams like that. We want to play against good competition to make us better and I feel like we did that tonight."
Good programs like two time defending state champion Lansing Christian are a challenge no matter the circumstance, no matter the score of the game. That poise and determination was evident in the heart of the Pilgrims when with 90 seconds left and down 3-0 they were flying around with an intensity that was oblivious to the seemingly sealed up game. Their charge and don't quit attitude was exemplified in the play of their Junior Cayla Ellis.
"I think that any time we try to say our upperclassman need to lead the girls because it just means more. Cayla stepped in, and she was a key member of our state title team last year, but she's playing a new position." Pilgrims head coach Joel VandeKopple said of Ellis. "She's a junior, and an upperclassman now, for her - and for the rest of the girls too - to play hard right to the final whistle shows a lot about what it means to them. To fight to the last second not just for themselves but for the other girls too."
LANSING, Mich. – First pitch was thrown at 6:07 p.m. By 8:01, it was over.
Otto Lopez smacked an RBI single through a drawn-in infield in the sixth inning and Cobi Johnson and Fitz Stadler combined on a three-hit shutout, speeding the Lansing Lugnuts (3-2) past the West Michigan Whitecaps (2-3), 1-0, on Monday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The one-hour, 54-minute win was the quickest nine-inning game that the Nuts had played since a 1-0 victory over Peoria in an hour and 53 minutes on July 10, 2013.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Reggie Pruitt singled to left field off Whitecaps reliever Xavier Javier (Loss, 0-1). Javier attempted to pick off the speedster, but his throw went awry and carried into the Lugnuts bullpen as Pruitt darted to third. Lopez followed with a smash up the middle that skipped through the legs of leaping bases umpire Ray Patchen into center field, sending Pruitt jogging home.
The rest of the night belonged to the pitchers.
Johnson, an All-Star closer in 2018 with Vancouver making his first professional start, needed only 48 pitches – 35 for strikes – to blank the Whitecaps over five innings, striking out five and allowing only two base runners, both on singles.
Stadler (Win, 1-0) took over from there, working clean sixth, eighth and ninth innings and escaping a seventh-inning two-on, one-out threat by coaxing a 5-4-3 double play.
West Michigan starter Garrett Hill was equally in command, striking out seven Lugnuts from the first through the fifth innings and allowing only a Lopez first-inning single and a Jordan Groshans fourth-inning single.
Lansing finished with eight hits in all, two apiece by Pruitt and Lopez.
Gates open at 5:00 p.m. for the second game of the four-game series… on a Taco Tuesday featuring $2 tacos! Lugnuts Opening Night starter Josh Winckowski (0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the year, battling West Michigan left-hander Kacey Murphy. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life at Cooley Law School Stadium, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
LANSING, Mich. – Ahead of the team's inaugural week of action at Cooley Law School Stadium, Lansing Ignite FC has unveiled a special Buy One, Get One (BOGO) deal for the club's first two matches at home.
Fans who purchase one ticket for the team's first game at Cooley Law School Stadium on April 13 against the Richmond Kickers will get one free ticket in the corner box seats for the match against Michigan State in the Capital Cup, presented by Sparrow. The free ticket for April 16 will be selected for you, based on availability, and in the best available corner box seating.
Thousands of tickets have already been sold for the team’s inaugural match, with Section A and Section B of the Midfield Box Seats sold out and limited availability in Section Q of the Goal Line Box Seats.
Fans can secure tickets to the first home match by clicking the link HERE, at the Cooley Law School Stadium Box Office, located at 505 E Michigan Ave., or over the phone at 517-580-5432.
RECENT RESULTS: The Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 3-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park. Tyson Ross started for Detroit and earned his first win of the season, throwing 7.0 innings and allowing one run on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Shane Greene worked a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts for his seventh save of the season. Offensively, Christin Stewart drove in a pair of runs and had two hits, including a triple, while Miguel Cabrera, Nicholas Castellanos and Jordy Mercer each had one hit. The Tigers continue their six-game home stand this afternoon as they open a three-game series vs. Cleveland. Following the series vs. the Indians, the Tigers travel to Minnesota for a three-game set vs. the Twins (April 12-14).
FOR STARTERS: Tyson Ross tossed 7.0 innings and allowed one earned run in Sunday’s game, marking the 10th straight contest to start the season that Tigers starters have allowed three earned-runs-or-less. That is the longest streak by Detroit to a start a season since 1987, when Tigers starters also had 10 straight games with three earned runs-or-less to begin the season. Entering today’s game, Detroit’s starting rotation has posted a 2.02 ERA (58.0IP/13ER), which is the third lowest in the Majors, trailing only the Tampa Bay Rays (1.61 ERA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1.98 ERA). The starting rotation ranks second in the Majors in WHIP (0.93) and fourth with a .188 (39 x 207) opponents batting average.
Kyle Busch still king of the court
Kyle Busch started off last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway by winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series races – but then recorded his worst finish of the season in the Monster Energy Series on Sunday. But what was Busch’s worst finish was a placement 29 other drivers envied as the driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota continued his top-10 streak in 2019…by finishing 10th.
The current points leader (by a slim eight-point margin over teammate Denny Hamlin) remains the only driver to have finished in the top 10 in each Monster Energy Series race this season. And the streak is actually nine races long – going back to the final two races of 2018, when he won at ISM Raceway and finished fourth at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Entering this weekend’s clash at "The Last Great Colosseum," Busch looks to be a favorite to not only continue that top-10 run, but to also record his third win of the year. He leads all active drivers with seven wins – including two of the last three (Fall 2017, Spring 2018). He’s tallied 10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in 27 starts at the track.
Hamlin-Gabehart pairing proving to be positive
In just seven races at the helm of Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Chris Gabehart has helped deliver two wins, four top-five and six top-10 finishes. That’s already two wins more than Hamlin posted last year – and is nearly half the top-five finishes he recorded in 2018 (10).To sa y the duo has clicked immediately is an understatement after taking the checkered in the season-opening Daytona 500 and then again just a few days ago at Texas Motor Speedway.
The two wins in the opening seven races of the season marks the earliest in Hamlin’s career he has won his second race of the season, besting 2012 in which he won the second race at Phoenix and then the eighth race at Kansas. And now Hamlin will be attempting to do something he’s only done twice before – win back-to-back races. (Fall 2012 – Bristol and Atlanta; Summer 2010 – Pocono and Michigan). In 26 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Hamlin has one win (Fall 2012), seven top fives and 12 top 10s.
Although Gabehart doesn’t have any Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series experience atop the pit box at Bristol, he does know how to win there. He has served as crew chief at the half-mile track six times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – recording a pair of wins with Hamlin’s current Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones (sweeping the 2016 races). His Xfinity drivers have three top-five and four top-10 finishes at Bristol.