Utica Stevenson’s softball season came to an end in heartbreaking fashion June 12. The Titans fell 5-4 to White Lake Lakeland in a Division 1 state quarterfinal at Madison Heights Bishop Foley despite breaking a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh and taking a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
“It was a great game,” Stevenson coach Tony Misuraca said. “Both teams gave each other some runs in the seventh. Give them credit: They put the ball in play.”
“I just told them I wouldn’t trade them for anyone,” Misuraca said about talking with his players after the game.
Stevenson (26-10), the co-champs of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division during the regular season, won district and regional titles, advancing to the quarterfinals for the second time in three years.
“There’s not a whole lot you can say — great group of girls,” the coach said. “I’m going to miss the seniors.”
The Titans say goodbye to seniors Jessica Berner, Kristine Fracassa and Jennifer Gmerek — a trio that made major contributions all year and in the careers on the squad.
“I am so proud of this team,” Berner said.
Stevenson will look to its returning younger players to step up and lead the program on another deep tourney run next year.
“I told the underclassmen, ‘Remember this feeling. You’ve got one year, and let’s try to do this again,’” Misuraca said. “‘Let’s try to build on it. Just remember how bad this hurts right now.’”
Stevenson beat Anchor Bay 6-1 in the June 9 regional final after earlier defeating Warren Regina 5-0 in a regional semifinal to advance to the quarterfinals.