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Rudyard Advances to First State Semifinal in Softball

RUDYARD — Third time was the charm, as Rudyard defeated Hillman on Tuesday in the Div. 4 state quarterfinal, 4-1.

The Bulldogs were in their third straight state quarterfinal, but they lost the two previous postseason games against Rogers City in 2018 and 2019. This is their first time advancing to the state semifinals.

Hillman jumped on the scoreboard first with a home run by Jessica Jones to left field in the second inning, putting the Tigers up, 1-0.

Rudyard responded by taking the lead in the third on a sacrifice fly by Morgan Bickel, which scored Chesney Molina. The Bulldogs never gave up the lead again.

“We knew that they were going to be a tough team. We knew that they played teams that played us tough. We knew they were not going to be the same team we played earlier in the season,” Rudyard softball coach Steve Davis said. “We prepared for that. They hit the ball well. They jumped on us, 1-0. Preparing the whole season for this game, playing as tough as competition as we have really paid off for us at the end of the game.”

The Bulldogs will play Holton in the state semifinals on Friday at 10 a.m. in East Lansing.