Softball

Published May 29, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES - The St. Clair Shores South Lake softball team didn't allow a hit on its way to a second straight Division 2 district title.

South Lake (17-6) downed Detroit Osborn 16-0 in three innings in the district final, played May 29 at Kyte Monroe Memorial Field in St. Clair Shores. South Lake scored 12 runs in the first, highlighted by an inside-the-park home run from senior catcher Jessica Duncan to put her team ahead 9-0.

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Published May 27, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS — It’s the time of the year to play “clean,” as Tom Calnen put it.

It’s the portion of the schedule where the past is just that, the past, and any future must be earned one win at a time.

In the last 13 years, Calnen and his Troy High softball team have celebrated a district title 11 times.

With a roster of players on the mend and a team on the upswing, the hope is that 12th title is on deck for this weekend when the Division 1 tournament begins.

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Published May 27, 2015

DETROIT — The Warren Regina softball team has been on a roll recently, winning 15 of its last 17 games at press time.

The run continued with a 3-1 win over Livonia Ladywood in the Catholic High School League A-B championship in a game played May 18 at the University of Detroit Mercy.

The win put Regina at 18-13 on the season. The Saddlelites started slowly, going 3-11 in their first 14 games. Ladywood won all four regular-season meetings.

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Published May 26, 2015

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Coming into the season, the Macomb Dakota softball team had some lean years as it relates to its finishes in the tough Macomb Area Conference Red Division.


Dakota finished sixth in the league last season and in 2011. Since 2008 — its last division title — Dakota also had third-, fifth-, and last-place finishes in the division.


This year’s group isn’t looking up at any other team in the MAC Red standings, though, as the Cougars went 9-1 to claim the program’s first league title in seven seasons.

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Published May 22, 2015

FRASER — The goals Fraser softball coach Matt Fishburn cited for his team earlier this season were to win both a Macomb Area Conference Blue Division and a district title.


While the honor of winning a MAC Blue title ended up going to Grosse Pointe South, a district championship is still in play for the Ramblers.


“Win a district championship and have a winning record,” Fishburn said of a couple of the goals for Fraser. “The key to accomplishing those goals is teamwork. So far, everybody’s contributing.”

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Published May 21, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores South Lake softball team will host a Division 2 district tournament May 29, but games won’t be played at the South Lake Athletic Complex because of construction to the school’s athletic facilities.

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Published May 18, 2015

ROSEVILLE — Roseville High softball coach Jessica Hansen is straight to the point when talking about how her team started the season.


“We weren’t playing well all around,” said Hansen, whose team started 0-5. “Our pitching was struggling to hit spots, which led to us giving up too many walks, and our bats were asleep.”

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Published May 15, 2015

ROCHESTER HILLS — In just its second season in the league, Oakland University’s softball program has won a Horizon League Championship after defeating Wright State University 7-3 May 9 in the championship game of the Horizon League Softball Championship.

Oakland earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament and the opportunity to host after winning the Horizon League regular season title.

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Published May 14, 2015

WEST BLOOMFIELD — When Brandy Wilson saw the head coaching position with the West Bloomfield High softball program open, she knew it was an opportunity to pounce on.


When Wilson officially accepted the position, she also knew things had to change.


“The first challenge for me to overcome was the revolving door these seniors have had,” Wilson said last week. “I was going to be their third coach in the past four years, and that’s tough on a high school athlete.”

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Published May 12, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley’s softball program has a history of winning.


Claire Cannon, who is in her second season as Chippewa’s coach, was part of that success. She helped the team to two Macomb Area Conference Red Division titles in 2006 and 2007, and in those two seasons, the Big Reds were 11-1 and 12-0 in league play, respectively, and posted a two-year overall record of 65-7.

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Published May 8, 2015

ROCHESTER — Oakland University's softball team has advanced to the championship game of the Horizon League Softball Championships after defeating the University of Illinois at Chicago 1-0 May 8 at the Oakland Softball Field.

Oakland's lone run of the game came in the bottom of the first when junior Sarah Hartley scored as a result of a UIC throwing error to third base following a hit by senior Sara Cupp.

Oakland earned the right to host the championships as a result of being the Horizon League regular-season champion.

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Published May 8, 2015

EASTPOINTE — “We’re finally getting hits from everyone in our lineup,” East Detroit High softball coach Jeff Zschernig said. “It’s that simple — we’re getting people on base and driving them home.”


That’s the explanation the Shamrocks’ coach gave for his team’s turnaround. After starting the season 1-9, East Detroit had gone 6-3 and improved its overall record to 7-12,  4-7 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division at press time.

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Published May 8, 2015

WARREN — The Warren Fitzgerald softball team has rebounded from a down 2014 campaign and is in the midst of a solid season.

The Spartans at press time sat at 13-9, 7-2 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division. Fitzgerald last season went 2-19, 0-12 MAC Gold.

“We’ve turned things around,” Fitzgerald coach Rich Smith said. “We struggled last year, so we did a lot of offseason conditioning to get ready for this year, and it’s paying off. We’ve played lots of tough competition. I’m happy with how things have gone.”

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Published May 7, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison Heights Lamphere softball team is senior-heavy, and the leadership and experience has shown in the Rams’ play.

“The girls have really come together. There’s no drama, they have a positive attitude in every situation, and it’s helped in our success that way,” Lamphere coach Don Mullen said, adding that 10 of the 13 on the team are seniors.

At press time, the Rams were 12-3 overall and 2-3 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

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Published May 6, 2015

ROYAL OAK — With a third of the roster filled by freshmen, Royal Oak Shrine softball coach Tony Smith knew there would be a learning curve.

After going 4-8 overall in the first half of the year, Smith now believes the curve is going to start trending upward.

“I think after these last couple games, I think they’re going to grow a lot right now and see a huge improvement in the second half of the season,” Smith said.

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Published May 6, 2015

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Lutheran North softball coach Duane Anger said the key to his team’s season is that players learn their positions and develop an instinct for that position, such as where and when to make a throw and what areas to cover.

That may seem basic, but the Mustangs have an interesting roster situation. The team, comprised of 16 players, has six seniors, but only three of those seniors have moderate varsity experience, and only four total players have played their current position.

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Published May 5, 2015

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb Lutheran North softball coach Duane Anger said the key to his team’s season is that players learn their positions and develop an instinct for that position, such as where and when to make a throw and what areas to cover.

That may seem basic, but the Mustangs have an interesting roster situation. The team, comprised of 16 players, has six seniors on its roster. Only three of those seniors have moderate varsity experience. Only four Lutheran North players have played their current position before this season.

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Published April 29, 2015

It’s a loss that is never far from the Ferndale High softball team’s collective mind.

Last season, after going a perfect 8-0 in the Oakland Activities Association Gold Division for the program’s second straight championship, the Eagles met Hazel Park High in a Division 2 district semifinal — a Hazel Park team that Ferndale had beaten in the regular season.

This time around, it was the Vikings’ day, winning 13-7 and ending Ferndale’s postseason too soon for comfort.

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Published April 29, 2015

FARMINGTON HILLS — As the pregame prayer begins, they stand next to one another with the team surrounding them.


Father and daughter, coach and assistant.


It’s the second straight season that this has been the arrangement with the Farmington Hills Mercy softball team, yet as familiar as this all is, it’s entirely different.


A year ago, Sara McGavin was coaching softball at Mercy and her dad, Alec Lesko, was her assistant.


The job, the sport, the role as skipper was all a dream come true for her.

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Published April 29, 2015

TROY — Pleased, but hardly surprised.

There’s always that balance that coaches must have in assessing early-season success, especially with bigger games looming down the road.

But when Dave Marr saw his Troy Athens softball team coming together this offseason, and then witnessed what was on display during the early parts of practice, he formed a certain expectation.

Roughly a month into the season, his girls are certainly living up to it.

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