Softball

Published May 11, 2016

Southfield Christian softball coach Ken Brown has reached yet another milestone.

The skipper, who co-coaches the Eagles with Rebecca Paryaski, earned his 600th career victory after a 15-0 win against Plymouth Christian May 5.

In getting to 600 wins, Brown is in rare company, as only 27 coaches in state history have more.

The Eagles have also made winning a habit this season, standing at 11-1 overall at press time.

The lone setback came May 7 against Allen Park Inter-City Baptist in the back half of a doubleheader.

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Published May 6, 2016

CENTER LINE — Every softball team at the start of the season sets goals, and Center Line High is no different.

The Panthers each year, including 2016, want to win division and district titles, according to coach Ron Thomas.

Center Line has checked off those boxes in recent years, winning Division 2 district titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The Panthers, who finished 15-13 last season, won a D-2 regional championship before falling in the state quarterfinals. Center Line has also ended the last six seasons with an above .500 record. The team finished 10-10 in 2009.

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Published May 3, 2016

FRASER — Fraser High’s softball team improved its record to 2-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division and 10-6 overall with a 4-3 victory against Port Huron Northern May 3.

The Ramblers came into the game trailing division leader Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse by four games, while PH Northern entered the contest two games back of first.

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Published April 29, 2016

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Clintondale softball coach Jim Steffler said he’s hopeful that the return of several of the team’s players leads to more success for the program.

“We do return a lot of players,” Steffler said. “A lot of them are in more expanded roles now. We need to see how they do over the course of the season.”

The Dragons, who at press time were 4-1 overall, 4-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, are off to a solid start, outscoring opponents 67-23.

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Published April 28, 2016

Wayne State University’s softball program is in the midst of its 2016 campaign, and whether the coaches and players want it to be or not, the news is out — the Warriors are good.

Last season, Wayne State went 42-20-1, and aside from winning a regular-season league championship, it also won its fourth consecutive GLIAC Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.

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Published April 28, 2016

Macomb Community College’s softball program is coming off a season in which the Monarchs won a Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference championship, won the National Junior College Athletic Association District J Women’s Softball Tournament and advanced to the NJCAA Division II Nationals, where head coach Vince Alessandrini said the team finished 15th.

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Published April 26, 2016

CLAWSON — Clawson High softball is hoping to turn its fortunes around under new head coaches Jim Sparks and Kelly Horne.

After winning only one game in 2015, the Trojans face an uphill climb in 2016, working to bounce back from a rough season and gain confidence to be consistently competitive.

       “The biggest thing we’re battling with our girls is they just hope to be in games right now,” said Sparks. “We’re trying to get them to where they expect to win games.”

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Published April 26, 2016

TROY — There’s a confidence level here that can’t be faked, and it’s matched only with a realistic approach of what the future of the 2016 season holds.

Tom Calnen has never been one to mince words or try to overlook the obvious, good or bad.

So late last week, when asked about his Troy high softball team, the veteran coach did his best to shine a positive light on what has been a rough go of it so far.

The key term there, “so far.”

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Published April 25, 2016

ROSEVILLE — Prior to last season, the Roseville High softball team had struggled mightily, winning a total of seven games in 2013 and 2014.

The Panthers got off to a slow start in 2015, too, at 0-5, but turned things around, and finished with a 14-13 record, including a 6-6 mark in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division. The Panthers finished with an above .500 record for the first time since 2010.

So what needs to happen for Roseville to stay on the path to sustained success?

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Published April 25, 2016

UTICA — Ashley Michol was waking up to play in a morning seventh-grade basketball game when she realized something wasn’t right.

She couldn’t see out of her right eye, and the blindness wasn’t going away quickly.

After three days, Michol told her parents about the problem she was having with her eye, and a doctor soon diagnosed her with optic neuritis, a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS).

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Published April 22, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — With just three starters back from last year’s team and a scheduling quirk that caused the squad to miss what would have amounted to two weeks of action, the latest version of the Macomb Lutheran North softball team has been forced to learn on the fly.

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Published April 19, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — He was content, ready to walk away and proud of everything in the rearview mirror.

Truthfully, who wouldn’t be?

In the spring of 2012, after 30 years of coaching and nearly 600 wins on the Southfield Christian softball field to his name, Ken Brown stepped down.

“I’ll still be around the game and do work with the coaches association and things like that,” Brown said in early June that year. “But as far as being on the bench and doing the coaching job, I’m ready to move on.”

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Published April 19, 2016

It’s his first season coaching softball at the high school level, but Thomas Hayman is bringing a wealth of experience to Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

The coach took over the program in February. For the past 15 years, he’s coached at the travel and youth levels.

He also has personal experience to draw from his baseball playing days at Rochester College.

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Published April 18, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — Speaking in just the second full week of April, with only two games having been played, Alec Lesko noted that his strategy as a softball coach centers on figuring things out by the “middle of May.”

So, the Farmington Hills Mercy coach has some time with his squad, though the early returns have him plenty excited as to what that deadline may offer.

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Published April 18, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak Shrine softball lacks in age, but its coach doesn’t lack a positive vision for the future.

The Knights lost only three seniors from  last season, but more than 50 percent of the roster is made up of sophomores, making for a tough road ahead, especially against larger schools and more experienced opponents.

Coach Tony Smith isn’t daunted by the challenge.

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Published April 18, 2016

FRASER — While Fraser High head softball coach Matt Fishburn recently described the tradition of the program as sound, he added that the Ramblers are still looking for something: more championships.

Although last year was a respectable one, as Fraser had 19 wins with a young squad, Fishburn is hoping for even bigger and better things in 2016.

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Published April 18, 2016

EASTPOINTE — Last season the Eastpointe East Detroit softball team started turning a corner, and now the squad hopes to build on what it started.

“I’m very pleased with the direction we’re headed in,” East Detroit coach Jeff Zschernig said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we do.”

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Published April 18, 2016

In some ways, it’s a new start for the Hazel Park High softball team.

With the graduation of Kyla Lynn, who started the last three years in the circle, coach Lisa McClellan is in search of her next ace.

The field is crowded with seven pitchers in the practice rotation.

“It’s anybody’s game to step up,” the coach said. “Hopefully, one of the seven will step up and be the No. 1.”

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Published April 15, 2016

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Walking past the trophy case inside West Bloomfield High last week, softball coach Brandy Wilson noticed that there weren’t too many shiny memories representing the softball program displayed.

Then again, it’s hard to display something that was never earned.

And while the 2016 season is still in its infancy, Wilson, in just her second year with the team, is using that trophy case as a sort of motivation for her team and its program.

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Published April 15, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — You’d think regular-season success would serve as an indicator of playoff prowess, right?

The St. Clair Shores Lakeview softball team would scoff at that notion.

The Huskies (1-0 at press time) have won four straight Division 1 district championships despite not finishing higher than third in the Macomb Area Conference White Division in any of those years. 

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