FARMINGTON — With roughly two weeks remaining in the regular season, Farmington Hills Mercy softball coaches Nancy and Brandon Malinowski said their team was certainty good enough to reach the state finals.
On June 1, the Marlins went to Farmington High and took their first stride toward Battle Creek.
“This was a good first step,” Brandon Malinowski said following a 14-4 victory against Novi High in a Division 1 district final. “We have some things to work on, but there was a lot to like about today.”
Namely, the offense.
Before facing Novi, Mercy had to come from behind to beat North Farmington 8-7 in the semifinal.
The Marlins did that on the heels of three home runs.
Malinowski said the craziness of that win seemed to slow his team down in the final, though. In the top of the first, Novi jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
“We were a little flat coming out of the gate, and it’s understandable after the first game,” Malinowski said. “We just needed to get through that first inning and get the bats going.”
Once they did, there was no turning back.
The Marlins scored once in the bottom half of the first and then six times in the third.
Novi added a run in the fourth to make it 7-4, but Mercy then used the long ball for five runs in the bottom of the fourth to essentially seal the victory.
Abby Krzywiecki slammed a three-run homer, and two batters later, Sam Bauer hit a two-run shot in the fourth.
Mercy scored twice more in the fifth to end the game by way of, well, mercy.
“We’ve hit 51 (home runs) on the year now, so it’s pretty exciting,” Malinowski said with a smile. “We lose quit a few balls in practice, but you have to enjoy it.”
But as the Marlins get deeper into the playoffs, the competition, and pitching will only get stronger.
“You don’t want to live by (home runs) because you can die by it, too,” Malinowski said. “We have some things to fix, especially solidifying the defense. That’s going to be the focus, moving forward.”
Mercy (29-2) advances to the Novi regional for the second straight season and faces Canton High at noon June 8.
October 12, 2015
In a showdown of unbeaten OAA Blue squads, Birmingham Groves dominated Berkley High 47-14 Oct. 9 at home to take sole possession of first place. The Falcons have locked up at least a share of the title, their first since 2011, and are 8-0 overall.