Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe WoodsMay 29, 2013
North and South softball to meet in district play
By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer
While the regular season may not have gone as well as Grosse Pointe North’s softball team would have hoped, from first-year coach Claire Cannon’s perspective, the team’s biggest goal is still out there — namely, postseason success.
Playoff softball gives each team an opportunity to reset and start fresh, and the Norsemen (5-13 overall) will get their chance to do just that when they take on rival Grosse Pointe South (9-15 overall) in a Division 1 district semifinal game hosted by North, scheduled for 10 a.m. June 1. The winner takes on either East Detroit or St. Clair Shores Lakeview, scheduled for 2 p.m. June 1.
According to Cannon, the Norsemen defeated South 12-1 in the teams’ only meeting earlier this season.
Although her team may not be entering the postseason with as many victories as she would have liked, Cannon is not exactly counting her team out in district play, as the Norsemen will attempt to defend last season’s district championship.
“That’s the whole point of the regular season, to prepare for the postseason, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing,” she said. “Everything up to this point has just been preparation for it. Any team can win on any given day, and that’s how we’re looking at it. Just because we beat Grosse Pointe South doesn’t mean we’re looking at them as a cakewalk. We know they’re (going to) come ready to win, just as we are.”
Solid senior leadership could go a long way toward helping a team achieve postseason success, and Cannon said she thinks she has just that in catcher Sarah Richardson, center fielder Paige Micks and pitcher Madison Bush.
“Paige Micks has center field and most of the outfield covered,” she said. “Sarah Richardson’s throwing girls out at second base. They’ve been huge. And Madison, she’s been huge, too. She’s one of the girls who stepped up to pitch this year.”
Having a successful run in the playoffs can change the entire complexion of a season for teams that have struggled during the regular portion of the schedule, and Cannon has given some thought as to what it may take for the Norsemen to have some postseason success.”
“Keys would be stopping big innings and eliminating walks,” she said. “We’re giving away too many bases to other teams.”
While she has no way of knowing for sure exactly how things will turn out, Cannon considers this to be the most exciting time of the year for North’s softball program.
“This is what really matters,” she said. “This is what counts. Who’s (going to) show up to play? It’s exciting because people compete during the postseason. It means something a little bit more.”
In other softball district tournament news:
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett is scheduled to play in a Division 4 district semifinal game at noon May 31 against Warren Macomb Christian at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian. The winner advances to a district final contest to take on either Marine City Cardinal Mooney or Parkway Christian, scheduled for 4 p.m. May 31.