Published May 24, 2011

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe North's girls varsity softball team picked up a big Macomb Area Conference White Division win against Utica Ford II in a low-scoring affair at North May 24.

Senior Amanda Lanzon's ground ball in the bottom of the seventh inning scored senior Krystin Bartold, as North came away with a 2-1 victory and improved to 4-5 in league play. Ford II was 5-5 after the loss. Utica High and St. Clair Shores Lakeview were tied at the top at 7-4.

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Published May 24, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — For Jack Falvo, it wasn’t a matter of if, but more so a matter of when.

Maybe it would take a few weeks. Possibly, a month or more.

Either way, the Farmington Hills Mercy softball coach knew there’d be a point when his squad figured things out, when the overall youth of the roster mattered little compared to the extreme talent it possessed.

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Published May 24, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — First, Southfield-Lathrup second baseman Natalie Henderson threw off her protective mask.

Then she adjusted to the short fly ball, catching it over her shoulder on her way down to the ground.

With the ball securely in her mitt, the freshman quickly stood up and fired the ball home, beating the Bloomfield Hills Andover runner for the third and final out, thus giving the Chargers their division championship May 18 at home.

“I jumped in the air higher than I ever had before,” Henderson said of celebrating.

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Published May 24, 2011

ROCHESTER HILLS — Though most of the spring season has been a mixture of rain and gray clouds, the district tournament lurks right around the corner.

And for a collection of Rochester area baseball and softball teams, that means seeing some familiar foes during the time of the year that matters most.

“It’s going to be pretty cool,” said Rochester Adams baseball coach Jeff Hall, whose team opens the playoffs at 4:30 p.m. May 31 in a Division 1 Romeo High district against Lake Orion High.

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Published May 18, 2011

ROYAL OAK — With no seniors and only two juniors on the roster that features mostly sophomores, the Royal Oak Shrine varsity softball squad could technically pass as a JV team.

But that fact hasn’t changed the goals of the players or the coach.

“It’s been better than my expectations,” coach Rick Steinmetz said. “I like the team a lot. At best, we were hoping for (.500) in the league, and we’re going to be better than that. So it’s been a good year.”

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Published May 11, 2011

FARMINGTON — It’s a very talented group, Dave Marr knows and will attest to that.

Just how good the Troy Athens softball team could be, well, only time can tell.

For right now, though, the key resides solely on gaining experience and finding ways to improve, albeit on the fly.

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Published May 11, 2011

Deonna Giacona spent the last few years doing the best job possible to prepare for coaching the Utica High varsity softball team — coaching the JV team.

“Things have been going pretty smooth. Luckily for me, I knew about half the girls,” Giacona said. “So them knowing how I coach, and myself knowing their ability helped things out a lot.”

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Published May 4, 2011

HARPER WOODS — Southfield High softball coach Jamie Glinz has witnessed the change.

Now in his fourth season coaching the Blue Jays, he’s seen the program go from winning one game the year before he took over to a squad that is in every contest it plays.

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Published May 4, 2011

TROY — The confidence remains.

This season, like so many before, it is as much a part of the Troy High softball program as gloves, balls and bats.

When asked about the ultimate goal for the 2011 season, coach Tom Calnen responded with the same optimism as in year’s past, but with one caveat.

“Troy High is trying to find its way,” the veteran coach said. “I’ve got an extremely talented group of girls, but it is a very young group.”

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Published May 3, 2011

BERKLEY — Ken DePerro wanted to get away. He sought a mini break from what tends to become a bit routine at this time of year.

So the Berkley High softball coach looked for a tournament that would require his girls to face teams they hadn’t, and probably won’t, soon again face.

He searched near and far before landing on one hosted by Alma High, a school in a small town a few hours away and just south of Mount Pleasant.

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Published April 13, 2011

TROY — Tom Calnen will never forget last July’s meeting with Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association.

And it has nothing to do with the fact it was his first serving as the association’s president.

“No, it’s because they asked me to leave the room,” Calnen said with a huge laugh last week. “I later learned why, which was pretty great.”

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Published April 12, 2011

BERKLEY — For Berkley High softball coach Ken DePerro, the weather is a test for more than just the field his squad plays on.

“One of the big things is, this weather has been awful and (the team) doesn’t complain. They don’t complain as much as I do,” DePerro said with a laugh. “I think they want to play, and I think that’s a key for any athlete. We’ve got a bunch of young ladies that want to play, want to be here and want to work.”

Sophomore captain Madelyn Oliver echoed those sentiments.

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Published April 5, 2011

FERNDALE — Ferndale High softball coach Anthony Smith keeps it simple.

“We always set goals,” he said during practice March 31. “I tell the kids every time we step on the field, we’re there to win the game — I don’t care who we’re playing. That is our goal.”

Last season, Smith’s first with the program, the Eagles did their share of winning with a senior-laden squad, finishing 8-6 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division and 14-17 overall.

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Published April 6, 2011

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Not everyone would be up to the task of inheriting a championship team with the expectations of repeating as league champs and making another run in the state tournament.

But new St. Clair Shores Lakeview softball coach Becky Quinn is embracing the challenge.
Last season, the Huskies finished 27-8 overall, 8-2 and co-champions of the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division for their fifth consecutive league crown, capturing a district title and making a regional final appearance for the third straight year.

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Published March 30, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — Fred Marinucci is preaching patience right now, to his team and to himself.

There’s no other remedy for what the early portions of the season are sure to bring about for his Farmington Hills Mercy softball squad — a group loaded with talent, dominated by youth and bubbling with potential.

Now the challenge is putting all that together without much experience to fall back on.

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