Farmington HillsJune 13, 2012
Solid season for Mercy softball comes to a close in regional final
By Mike Moore
C & G Staff Writer
Mercy shortstop Alex Sobczak, pictured hauling in a catch during the Catholic League final last month, is one of eight starters who could return to the team in 2013.
The ending was tough.
Nancy Malinowski knows there’s no way to deny that.
This was a team she felt was capable of a long playoff run, longer than getting to the regional final, where the season ended.
Still, looking back, she also knows how bright the future is and how promising many of the same girls that were part of a 26-win 2012 season will be in the very near future.
“It’s time to move on with what we have, with what I think is a pretty promising outlook,” Malinowski said. “But this was a good season. There were a few games here and there that we wish we could have back, but overall, this was a young group that did a lot of good things.”
One of those games she’d like to take back was a June 9 regional final.
After beating Beverly Hills Groves 12-0 in the semifinal, the Marlins’ bats, which had been explosive in the playoffs, went cold against Northville.
And despite another brilliant effort from senior pitcher Kayce Nieto, Mercy managed just one hit in a 1-0 loss.
“That was tough,” Malinowski said. “I mean, their pitcher had a real nice game, but after the way we hit last weekend and after the first game, I was a little surprised we only had one hit.”
The loss ended Mercy’s season with a 26-9 record.
“Tough right now, but this was still a great year,” Malinowski said.
The key, she added, is the fact eight starters are set to return next year.
Replacing Nieto certainly won’t be easy, but with Jacquelyn Murphy set to take on a bigger role in the circle, and some others who can certainly contribute, the hope remains that this year’s regional final is just the start of something special.
“Losing one girl gives us a lot to look forward to,” Malinowski said. “If we get some people to step up, we’re going to be good moving forward.”