Grosse Pointe WoodsJune 11, 2014
Offense carries Liggett softball to regional title
By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer
MANCHESTER — Grosse Pointe University Liggett’s offense scored early and often in a pair of MHSAA Division 3 regional games on June 7, as the Knights defeated Grass Lake 10-3 and Riverview Gabriel Richard 17-5 to claim a regional title.
In the Grass Lake contest, Liggett jumped out to an 8-0 lead after two innings. Taylor Slayton, Anna Majewski and Emily Kanakry each had two hits and two RBI to lead Liggett.
Liggett coach Ted Alpert said that being able to see Grass Lake play during the district round helped his team prepare for an otherwise unfamiliar opponent.
“Our district was on (last) Friday at Harper Woods, so we were able to head out the next day to Grass Lake to see them play, and they were pretty good, solid one through nine, but we saw that their pitcher couldn’t consistently throw offspeed pitches for strikes, so we knew if we just sat on fastballs that we’d be OK,” Alpert said.
Zarine Minwalla pitched her first of two complete games at regionals by giving up one earned run off seven hits against Grass Lake.
In the Gabriel Richard game, Emma Nicholas, Majewski, Kacie Wuthrich and Kanakry each had three hits. Nicholas and Kanakry each had four RBI to lead the Knights, but Alpert also credited Kayla Strong, the No. 8 hitter who had two hits, as a big reason the lineup was so effective.
“The top of our order, hitters 1-6, they may be as good as anybody; we can put the bat on the ball. The nice thing about the regional tournament was that the bottom of the order came through, so if any one of the bottom three come up, three or four of the best batters in Class C are right behind them, and that’s what happened.”
Liggett again took a big lead early against Gabriel Richard by scoring seven runs in the first two innings. Alpert explained that scoring first becomes more important as his team goes deeper into the playoffs.
“I told the girls that when you’re at regionals, most of the teams aren’t used to being down by a lot, and we roughed them up pretty good at the beginning of the game,” Alpert said. “If you’re not used to being down by six runs, sometimes if it’s the first time that’s ever happened to you, then it’s hard to come back.”
Liggett advanced to the state quarterfinals on June 10 at Chelsea High School, where the Knights took on Clinton, the 2011 and 2012 Division 3 state champions.
The result of that game was not known at press time. The winner of that game plays the winner of Unionville-Sebewaing and Reese at noon on June 13 at Michigan State University. The MHSAA Division 3 state final is at 3 p.m. on June 14 at MSU.