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June 5, 2013

Southfield-Lathrup softball wins division title; local squads fall in playoffs

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Southfield-Lathrup coach Bruce Lenington speaks with his team during a Division 1 district semifinal June 1 at Birmingham Groves. The Chargers lost, but not before winning a share of the OAA Gold championship.

It was a cold day in late March, forcing the Southfield-Lathrup softball team indoors for practice.

The squad stood at attention and listened as coach Bruce Lenington pointed to the softball championship banner and told the Chargers what it takes to get their team up there.

Fast forward two months later, and Lathrup took the message of hard work and dedication to heart. Lathrup won a share of the Oakland Activities Association Gold Division championship, Lenington’s fifth in eight years on the bench.

“This is a team that finished fourth out of six teams last year,” said Lenington, who was not with the team last season. “The kids that we picked up were real, real young. It’s probably one of my most rewarding coaching experiences to get a share of the title.”

The Chargers finished 8-2 in the division, tied with Ferndale High. Those two squads met May 21, with Ferndale coming back from two runs down to win the first game of the doubleheader.

In the second game, it was Lathrup battling back. After losing a 5-1 lead, the Chargers trailed by two runs before coming back in the bottom of the sixth to win 10-9.

“I though we showed some really good resiliency,” Lenington said. “We had control, lost the lead, got it back, lost it again and then finally won in our last at-bats.”

Lathrup’s season came to a close June 1 in a Division 1 district semifinal, losing to Birmingham Seaholm.

In other local softball action:

Southfield High lost in a D-1 district final to Detroit Renaissance May 31 at home. The Blue Jays beat Oak Park High in its semifinal to advance.

Southfield Christian fell to Wixom St. Catherine in a D-4 district semifinal May 31 at home.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.