Softball

Published June 21, 2016

EAST LANSING — Heading into this season, the Macomb Dakota softball program had won only one district championship and never raised a regional trophy.

But here the Cougars were, under a pitch-perfect blue sky battling for the Division 1 state championship June 18 at Michigan State University.

Keeping a one-run difference for most of the game, the Cougars fell to Farmington Hills Mercy 4-0, ending a season the program had never seen before.

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Published June 15, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The 2016 campaign was one that showed the continuing improvement of the Roseville High softball team.

The Panthers finished 12-16 overall this season and won 14 games in 2015. That’s a two-year total of 26 wins and comes after a three-year stretch that saw Roseville win a total of 13 games.

“Every day since practice started, this group improved more over the course of the season than any team I’ve coached,” Panthers coach Jessica Hansen said.

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Published June 18, 2016

C&G Newspapers

EAST LANSING — Farmington Hills Mercy pitcher Andrea Elmore threw a third strike, good for the third out and the program’s first softball state championship.

The Marlins beat Macomb Dakota 4-0 June 18 in the Division 1 final at Michigan State University.

Following the third strike, the mitts that had treated Mercy so well were tossed in the air and the celebration began.

“It feels so great. I’m so glad we were able to do this for our school and for each other,” Mercy’s Nicole Belans said.

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Published June 17, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Regular-season success is not always indicative of a team’s talent, effort or level of play, and no team exemplifies that more than St. Clair Shores Lakeview softball.

The Huskies since the start of the 2012 season have a combined record of 63-66, finishing in the top three of the Macomb Area Conference White Division just once (2014) over that span.

But that hasn’t stopped the Huskies from winning five straight Division 1 district championships.

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Published June 16, 2016

NOVI — Her team came up against a machine.

Not literally, but certainly figuratively.

The Farmington Hills Mercy softball squad has been on a dominant rampage since the spring started, yet after one inning, Kristin Woodward watched as her Walled Lake Northern squad was right there, trailing just 2-1 and owning a bit of momentum in a June 11 Division 1 regional final at Novi High.

But then Mercy did what it’s done all year, responding with three runs in the top of the second.

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Published June 16, 2016

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse softball team has become somewhat of a model of consistency, and the 2016 season further demostrated that.

The Lancers went 10-2 to win their third Macomb Area Conference Blue Division title in four years (2013, 2014, 2016). The Lancers finished the season with a 24-10 overall record, giving them their fifth straight season with at least 20 wins. They have finished above .500 every year since 2008. Over the last four seasons, L’Anse Creuse has averaged 25 wins a season.

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Published June 16, 2016

C&G Newspapers

EAST LANSING — Before this season, the Macomb Dakota softball team had not advanced past the regional round of the state playoffs.

Now the Cougars are one win away from a state championship after beating Midland High 4-2 in a Division 1 state semifinal played June 16 at Michigan State University,

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Published June 15, 2016

TROY — For a first-year coach dealing with a young team, well, this wasn’t all that bad.

Kerry Brennan and the Troy Athens softball team had its 2016 season officially come to a close June 11 in a 6-0 loss to Romeo High in the Bloomfield Hills regional semifinal.

But as Brennan spoke a day after, she stressed how this just may be the beginning for this group moving forward.

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Published June 14, 2016

DETROIT — The season of firsts continues for the Macomb Dakota softball team.

Dakota will head to its first Division 1 state semifinal after beating Garden City High 6-0 in a state quarterfinal June 14 at Wayne State University.

Dakota (37-2) meets Midland High in a D-1 semifinal set for 10 a.m. June 16 at Michigan State University. The other half of the D-1 bracket includes Farmington Hills Mercy, Mattawan High and Allen Park High. Mercy beat Lake Orion High 11-7 in a D-1 quarterfinal June 14 at Wayne State.

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Published June 14, 2016

GROSSE POINTES — Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s softball team won its fourth consecutive regional championship with a 13-0 victory against Madison Heights Bishop Foley in a Division 3 final June 11 at Foley.

The Knights defeated Riverview Gabriel Richard 4-2 in the semifinal round of the tournament.

Liggett was set to face Monroe St. Mary Catholic in a quarterfinal game June 14, after press time.

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Published June 14, 2016

Southfield Christian’s brilliant softball season came to a close in a regional final, a 2-0 loss to Ottawa Lake Whiteford June 11 at Ottawa Lake.

It was just one year ago that this team suffered through a three-win season.

Southfield Christian finished 2016 with a 19-5 record.

“It was a great season,” Eagles said Rebecca Paryaski who co-coaches the teams with Ken Brown. “I told them afterwards, even as upset as they were, how great they played. To come as far as we did was awesome.”

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Published June 13, 2016

Madison Heights Bishop Foley softball coach John Ploskonka was relieved.

The Ventures had just won a Division 3 district championship, beating Clinton Township Clintondale 12-1 in five innings June 4 at home to earn the program’s first district title since 2012, and it came against the team that beat Foley in the final last season. 

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Published June 11, 2016

C&G Newspapers

NOVI — Another step, another trophy.

From the onset of spring, the Farmington Hills Mercy softball team’s lone objective was to return to East Lansing and make up for a 2015 season that ended two wins shy of a state title.

The 2016 squad is now three wins away.

Mercy continued to roll, picking up its 40th victory of the season Saturday in a Division 1 regional final, needing just five innings to upend Walled Lake Northern 11-1 at Novi High.

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Published June 11, 2016

C&G Newspapers

ANCHOR BAY — Macomb Dakota senior infielder Kelsey Ramus said she and her teammates have been thinking about what this season could bring since January.

Those ideas have now have some merit, as the Cougars shut out Anchor Bay High 10-0 in six innings June 11 to win a Division 1 regional title. The regional championship is the first for Dakota's softball program. The Cougars advance to take on Garden City High in a D-1 state quarterfinal set for 4 p.m. June 14 at Wayne State University."

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Published June 10, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview pitcher Alexis Nowowiecki referred to her team as “the comeback kids” for its ability to win games in which it has trailed.

The Huskies did that again June 3 at Kyte Monroe Park in St. Clair Shores in a 4-2 win over Roseville High in a Division 1 district final.

Lakeview advanced to take on Anchor Bay High in a D-1 regional semifinal June 11, after press time.

The district title is the fifth in a row for the Huskies.

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Published June 7, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Southfield Christian pitcher Emma Paryaski knew the pitch was good as soon as it left her hand.

When the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, it was good for a swinging third strike and gave the Eagles their first district championship since 2012, beating Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 12-0 in six innings in the Division 4 final June 4 at home.

“It’s been a while. Coming back from last year when we only had two wins all season and completely turning it all around, it feels great,” Paryaski said.

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Published June 5, 2016

LIVONIA — The exclamation point on a day of total dominance was also a footnote in the MHSAA record book.

Abby Krzywiecki hit her 19th home run of the season, setting a new MHSAA record, while the Farmington Hills Mercy softball team cruised to a 7-0 victory over North Farmington in Saturday’s Division 1 district final at Livonia Stevenson.

Krzywiecki’s two-run blast in the seventh inning established a single-season record for home runs.

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Published June 4, 2016

Southfield Christian pitcher Emma Paryaski knew the pitch was good as soon as it left her hand.

When the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, it was good for a swinging third strike and gave the Eagles their first district championship since 2012, beating Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 12-0 in six innings in the Division 4 final June 4 at home.

“It’s been a while. Coming back from last year when we only had two wins all season and completely turning it all around, it feels great,” Paryaski said.

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Published June 3, 2016

C&G Newspapers

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview pitcher Alexis Nowowiecki referred to her team as "The Comeback Kids" for its ability to win games in which it has trailed.

The Huskies did that again June 3 at Kyte Monroe Park in St. Clair Shores in a 4-2, seven-inning win over Roseville High in a Division 1 district final.

Lakeview (9-14 overall) advances to take on the winner of the Port Huron High district at noon June 11 in a D-1 regional semifinal.

The district title is the second in a row for the Huskies.

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Published May 25, 2016

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High’s softball team has undergone a major transformation in the last three seasons.

In 2014, the Ravens finished the season with only one win.

Shortstop Rachel Blohm, then a sophomore, doesn’t remember which team the win was against, but she remembers the celebration afterward.

“It was a huge deal for us, because it was like 20-0, I think. We won 20-0,” said Blohm, now a senior captain for the Ravens. “We were like ‘Woo!’ We got all hype. We took a picture with the scoreboard.”

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