Softball

Published June 23, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The record-tying season is still on St. Clair Shores South Lake softball coach Dave Ahearn’s mind.

With a 3-1 win against Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy June 2, the Cavaliers won a fourth straight Division 2 district championship, tying a school record.

Former coach Don Frederick accomplished the feat in the 1990s. Frederick hired Ahearn, who has spent 23 years with the team. Ahearn and Frederick are South Lake alums.

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Published June 20, 2017

For the second straight year, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s softball season ended with a loss to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central in a Division 3 quarterfinal.

Catholic Central beat Liggett 5-0 June 13 at Carleton Airport before going on to win the program’s third consecutive D-3 state title with a 13-1 victory against Napoleon High.

Earlier in the season, the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association ranked Catholic Central as the No.1 D-3 team in the state, with Liggett at No. 2.

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Published June 19, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — If someone was in scoring position, Anna Dixon was going to bring them in.

If Dixon was on base, she was going to score herself.

Those statements may come off sounding like a guarantee, but for the Farmington Hills Mercy junior softball player, the stats are there to just about back it up.

“She’s a five-tool player,” coach Alec Lesko said about Dixon.

A five-tool player with a knack for generating runs.

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Published June 17, 2017

EAST LANSING — Redemption.

That was the word that nearly every single Macomb Dakota softball player and coach used when talking about their 4-3 victory against Grandville High in the Division 1 title game June 17.

The win marked the first state championship in program history, one year removed from being tantalizingly close. Dakota fell in the 2016 finale, using that as motivation for a chance to return for a different outcome.

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Published June 16, 2017

ANCHOR BAY — After winning a Division 1 district championship June 3, the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore softball team saw its season end in a 1-0 loss to Anchor Bay High June 10 in a regional semifinal.

The Tars pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the sixth inning as sophomore Callie Tatum singled to center field, scoring senior Felicia Maximiuk from second base.

Anchor Bay went on to fall to Macomb Dakota 7-0 in the regional final.

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Published June 13, 2017

DETROIT — Another rally, another trip to East Lansing.

Down 4-0, it looked like the Macomb Dakota softball team was two innings away from the end of their season. Undeterred, the club notched a run in the sixth inning and then rattled off five more in the seventh to top Garden City High 6-5 in the Division 1 state quarterfinal.

The victory ensured Dakota would return to the state semifinal for the second straight year, heading to Michigan State University where the team finished as runner-up last season.

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Published June 13, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — This was technically the defending state champ, but in more realistic terms, this was a fresh-look Farmington Hills Mercy softball team.

“Starting out, especially the first 10 games or so, it was very rough,” coach Alec Lesko said. “There was a big learning curve. But then they came together. The freshmen started picking it up.”

The defending Division 1 champs had just four seniors and an influx of freshmen.

“These girls were playing middle school softball last year,” Lesko stressed.

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Published June 10, 2017

CLARKSTON — The Utica Eisenhower softball team saw its deepest postseason run in history come to an end, falling 4-3 to Clarkston High in a Division 1 regional title game June 10.

"I'm super proud of our girls," Eisenhower coach Bob Hall said. "We peaked at the right time, playing really good ball in the last month of the season. I'm elated at their accomplishments, very proud to see what was done this season."

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Published June 10, 2017

GROSSE POINTE WOODS— Grosse Pointe North’s softball season came to an end with a 4-3 loss to Garden City High in a Division 1 regional final June 10 at Grosse Pointe South.

North had a 3-1 lead in the last half of the eighth inning until Garden City senior Alicia Ascencio hit a walk-off three-run home run to advance her team to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

With the game tied 1-1 after seven innings of play, North junior Caitlyn Knorp scored two runs with a base hit that gave her team a lead in the top of the eighth.

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Published June 10, 2017

ANCHOR BAY — After two nail-biting, one-run wins on its way to a Division 1 district title June 3, it was clear the Macomb Dakota softball team wanted to take care of business in the regional round and it did just that, knocking off Anchor Bay High 7-0 in a June 10 regional final. 

The Cougars (33-2) advance to face either Grosse Pointe North or Garden City High in a state quarterfinal set for 4 p.m. June 13 at Wayne State University. The state semifinals and finals take place June 15-17 at Michigan State University.

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Published June 8, 2017

ROSEVILLE — Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse sophomore infielder Brooke Nadolny had a season to remember.

The team portion of her season didn’t go the way Nadolny would have liked, as the Lancers fell 6-3 to St. Clair Shores Lake Shore June 2 in a Division 1 district final, but Nadolny made a name for herself this spring.

She hit 22 home runs, establishing a new Michigan High School Athletic Association single-season record. Muskegon Mona Shores junior Taylor Dew also hit 22 home runs this season, putting them both in uncharted territory.

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Published June 3, 2017

C&G Newspapers

UTICA — Macomb Dakota junior infielder Arieanna Grammatica was a member of last year's team that advanced all the way to the Division 1 state title game, but she didn't see much in-game action.

With her team down to its last out and trailing Utica Ford II 4-3 in a June 3 district final, Grammatica made a huge contribution, making contact on a pitch that would drive in the two winning runs in the Cougars' 5-4 win. Grammatica — who made contact with two strikes — reached on an error that allowed the runs to score.

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Published June 2, 2017

C&G Newspapers

ROSEVILLE — A big fourth inning powered the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore softball team past Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse 6-3 in a June 2 district title game and to regionals for the first time since 2014.

A three-run home run from Elizabeth Gatto and a solo shot from Mackenzie Maison put the Shorians up 4-0 after the fourth inning. Maison's shot over the center field wall proved to be the difference, as the Lancers got one run in the fifth and two in the seventh before Lake Shore pitcher Sarah Ratledge closed the door.

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Published May 30, 2017

AUBURN HILLS — When asked to compare Rebekah Crane to a past player from the program’s annals, Mike Tison can only bring up names from the mid-’80s.

Tison, the coach of the Auburn Hills Oakland Christian softball team, praised the junior pitcher for leading on and off the diamond.

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Published May 24, 2017

TROY — With the season winding down and the playoffs on the horizon, the Troy High softball team was engaged in a serious bowling match.

The May 19 trip to the lanes was designed by coach Tom Calnen, looking to take the team’s mind off of softball.

“They just needed to get away from the dirt and focus on why we like each other and the game,” Calnen said. “We’re committed to two very tough weeks of practice and playing, and I wanted to make sure that the kids are mentally in the right spot headed into districts.”

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Published May 23, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — After struggling through two seasons in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, the Rochester High softball team moved to the White this year.

The Falcons made the most of the transfer, going 12-0 in league play to earn a division title.

Rochester coach Laura Guzman is proud to capture a banner, saying her team earned it through hard work and believing in one another.

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Published May 23, 2017

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett softball coach Jim Schmidt has been around the game for more than 40 years, and he considers senior Emma St. John to be among the best high school pitchers he has ever seen.

Facts help to back up Schmidt’s high opinion of St. John’s talents.

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Published May 22, 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS — They were semifinalists two years ago.

Then in 2016, the girls on the Farmington Hills Mercy softball team put it all together and took the next step, winning the Division 1 state championship.

So, just what’s in store for the 2017 edition?

We’re about to find out.

After winning it all last spring and then going through a major roster turnover, the Marlins appear ready for another run toward East Lansing — if a lot of things fall into place, as coach Alec Lesko put it.

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Published May 19, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Based on current trends, this could be a very fruitful spring for local softball teams.

When the state playoffs begin May 30, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore — which has received votes in the most recent Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association Division 1 rankings — will play for its first district title since 2014. St. Clair Shores Lakeview will vie for a sixth straight D-1 district crown, and St. Clair Shores South Lake will play for a school-record fourth consecutive D-2 district championship.

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Published May 18, 2017

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — In addition to a tough Macomb Area Conference Blue Division slate, the Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse softball team has faced off against some stiff competition with the hopes of being primed and ready to go for the playoffs.

The Lancers — who were 16-6 overall and 7-0 in the MAC Blue at press time — have played in three multiday tournaments this season. The team has faced the likes of Warren Regina, Clarkston High, Anchor Bay High and Utica Eisenhower.

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