Wildcats clinch O-K Gold Conference softball crown

Emma Ludema

Several things have happened all at the same time for the Wayland varsity softball team.

Senior ace hurler Emma Ludema threw a seven-inning no-hit, 15-strikeout shutout at Middleville Thornapple Kellogg Tuesday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader sweep. The Wildcats won the second game 14-0.

The two victories clinched yet another O-K Gold Conference championship. Wayland has only second-place Forest Hills Eastern left on the schedule next Wednesday, but the Hawks have three losses thus far in league play and have no chance of catching the undefeated ‘Cats (12-0).

Wayland finally will get a break on its busy schedule after a non-league game Friday against Jenison was canceled. It was supposed to be a rematch vs. the only team this season able to beat the Wildcats, 4-1 in the season opener. Since then coach Cheri Ritz’s squad has reeled off 25 consecutive victories.

Also remaining on the schedule is the Blue Chip Invitational Saturday and the Division 2 district tournament opener Tuesday, May 31, at Hopkins against South Christian.

Leading the Wildcat attack Tuesday against TK was Kami Morse (2-for-3), with a double and Kennedy Cole (2-3), with a double and a triple.  Hannah Rairigh, Rya Vanderkooi and Emma Ludema also had a single.

In the nightcap, Hannah Rairigh went 2-for-2 and Kaelyn Sikkema (2-4), with a double and Rya VanderKooi (2-for-4). Kami Morse and Kennedy Cole both added a triple. Oakleigh Hulst, Liberty Laker and Harmony Laker each had a hit.

Harmony Laker took the victory on the mound, allowing only three hits.

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