ROCHESTER HILLS — Jerry Price, admittedly, is a man of few words.
He’s one of the only coaches, in any sport, who rarely holds a post-game meeting with his Rochester Hills Stoney Creek softball team.
“If the team played well, I want them to enjoy it,” he said. “If they didn’t play well, or we had a bad game and a tough loss, what good is it going to do me talking to them anymore about it?”
May 15 may have been the exception to that self-made rule, though.
And with good reason.
“Yeah, we had some things to say that day,” Price explained with a laugh about a doubleheader sweep against Birmingham Seaholm. The pair of wins clinched Stoney Creek its first division title ever. “I told them how proud I was, how they persevered to go out and earn this. That was a pretty special day.”
It’s been a pretty special year for the Cougars.
Following a doubleheader sweep of Hazel Park High May 21, Stoney ended play in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division with a 12-0 record.
Overall, the team was 22-10 at press time, marking the second consecutive 20-win season.
All of this after starting the spring with four losses in the first five games.
“I told them after that rough start that we were a team that was going to win a lot of games,” Price said. “We played five games without being on the practice field once because of the weather. We made some adjustments here and there, and then we started rolling.”
Rolling to nine wins in a row.
“There’s plenty of reasons for it, too,” Price said of the season’s success so far.
To start with, the Cougars’ pitching combo of sophomores Sara Beyer and Meghan Glaser has been lights-out.
Beyer had 11 wins at press time, while Glaser had 10.
“They’ve been the perfect duo,” Price said.
Offensively, runs have come in bunches, namely due to the team’s third and fourth hitters.
Hitting third, Jen Seaman is batting over .500 with six home runs, 45 RBI and 58 total hits.
Casey Cribbs, the cleanup hitter, is also batting above .500 with two home runs, 33 RBI and 47 hits, including 15 doubles.
And on top of it all, the team defense has been stellar, which leads Price to think there’s more out there than just a division title.
“No matter who we see (in the playoffs), it’s going to be a tough draw. But I think we’re a team that can play with just about anyone right now,” he said.
The Cougars open the Division 1 Romeo High district June 1 against either Romeo or Rochester High in a semifinal.
Price expects his team to do then what it’s done all season.
“Have fun,” he added. “You have to. Every single day is a good day to be with this group and to do the things we’ve done.”