MADISON HEIGHTS — It took one batter for Madison Heights Bishop Foley softball to show Macomb Lutheran North its intentions.
Foley senior Jackie Bieniewicz led the Division 3 district final with a home run June 2 at New Haven High, propelling the Ventures to a 12-6 victory and their seventh straight district title.
“It just set the tone and showed them we weren’t here to mess around,” Bieniewicz said.
During the regular season, the squads had split their four games, but coach John Ploskonka noted his team takes on a different mentality when it comes to the postseason.
“I knew that (the Mustangs) were going to come for us, but just like anyone else at this time of year, they’re not used to being in that situation. They’re going to press a little too much and get down if they make a mistake. We’re used to it,” he said. “I have three seniors that have been on varsity four years and have won four district titles. The pressure, we’re used to it and expect to win.”
Foley pitcher Same Leffler, who earned the win, agreed.
“It was definitely more of a challenge this time, but we always set our goal: This is districts, we win. We just came out, played hard and came through,” she said.
Though this marks seven straight titles, Ploskonka said he doesn’t take anything for granted.
“I definitely feel a lot of pressure, just because I don’t want to lose,” she said. “It’s a relief for our coaching staff when the game is over and we win.”
This district was unique from the most recent postseasons because the Ventures had lost to Mustangs twice. In the past, Foley predominately has played teams in its district that it hasn’t played yet or hasn’t lost to.
“I’m very proud of them, because this could have been any easy one that we could have lost, because we’ve played them four times. Just going into it, we had the mindset that we weren’t going to lose,” the coach said. “We knew it was going to be difficult, but everyone stepped up and played their game.”
Regionals and quarterfinals were played after press time. Check next week’s paper for regional results and log on to our website at www.candgnews.com for quarterfinal coverage.
In other local playoff action:
The Foley baseball team also won its district, beating Pontiac Academy for Excellence 20-0 in the final June 2 at New Haven. In its semifinal, Foley beat Lutheran North 6-2 after dispatching New Haven 18-0 in its opener.
For more on Foley baseball, visit our website.