Rudyard Softball Aims to Build off Program-Best 2021 Season

RUDYARD – The Rudyard Bulldogs reached the state championship game for the first time in program history last season.

The Bulldogs are looking to carry that success and the lessons they learned from playing against top-tier teams into this season.

Rudyard’s memorable 2021 postseason included a 9-8 win in extra innings over No. 1 Holton in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs trailed 7-1 in that game before storming back and winning on a walk-off home run by Morgan Bickel.

Bickel and several other key contributors from last season’s team have graduated but coach Steven Davis and junior Meagan Postma are confident in what the team is bringing back.

“We lost a lot of people last year but I believe that a lot of players will step up and be able to take those roles on,” Postma said.

“We told the girls at the beginning of the season that nobody has a starting position. We’re just going to keep mixing people in as we go and see who ends up where at the end of the year,” Davis added.

Senior Brooklynn Besteman said the team learned a lot from playing against the state’s best teams deep in the playoffs. Mainly, she said, the team learned it needs to work on hitting pitchers with good secondary pitches.

Unionville-Sebewaing pitcher Brynn Polega set a state championship record with 19 strikeouts against Rudyard in the Div. 4 state championship game.

“We don’t see a lot of spin [in the regular season],” Bestemann said. “We see some speed but I mean, speed we can hit. The spin is what gets us because we can’t tell where it’s going or it just throws off our swings.”

Rudyard is a Div. 4 honorable mention in the MHSSCA’s first state rankings.

Categories: Softball