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Farmington Hills

May 23, 2014

Mercy’s Catholic League title is second straight for softball program

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Despite playing five games in three days, Mercy rolled past Ladywood 11-4 in last week’s Catholic League final, claiming the crown for the second time in as many years.

FARMINGTON — There was a will and there was a way.

Sara McGavin didn’t know exactly how her team would respond, whether playing so many games in so few days would give way to a degree of sharpness or an unavoidable bout of fatigue.

And after falling behind 1-0 in the Catholic League A-B Division final May 19 against Livonia Ladywood, there was only one thing for the Farmington Hills Mercy softball team to do.

Wake up and win.

All right, two things.

“I’m just so proud, so proud of what these girls did and what they’ve accomplished,” McGavin said last week about an eventual 11-4 victory and second straight league title. “It’s the first time our program has ever won two in a row.”

The Marlins were plowing through the busiest part of the schedule last week, taking part in a tripleheader at Lakeland High on May 17, a Catholic League semifinal May 18, and then the final May 19 in a game played at the University of Detroit Jesuit.

Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first, Mercy came right back with a pair of runs in the second inning and never looked back.

In the end, the Marlins finished with five hits and 20 walks,  and blew the game open with four runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.

“We really didn’t know how they were going to react,” McGavin said of playing five games in three days. “Sometimes, playing that much actually helps, and we did take it kind of easy Saturday at the tournament, knowing what would be on the line.”

McGavin, an assistant on the team last year, is in her first season as head coach.

Claiming the league title was the team’s first goal of the spring.

“We were beaming. It’s just awesome,” she said of winning the title. “It’s a goal so many of these girls set before the year started. And they went out and did it.”

Prior to last year, Mercy (21-3) hadn’t won a league title since 2001.

“It’s not easy to repeat,” McGavin said. “This is something to be proud of.”

Mercy’s next goal focused on the state playoffs, which began May 27 in a predistrict game against Harrison played after press time.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.