Troy Athens coach Kerry Brennan is doused with water following her club’s 6-0 victory over Royal Oak High June 2 in a Division 1 district final. The win marks the third straight district title for the Red Hawks.

Troy Athens coach Kerry Brennan is doused with water following her club’s 6-0 victory over Royal Oak High June 2 in a Division 1 district final. The win marks the third straight district title for the Red Hawks.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Athens earns softball district title, Troy does same in baseball, soccer

By: Timothy Pontzer | Troy Times | Published June 5, 2018

 Troy High senior shortstop Aaron Sexton slides safely into third during a Division 1 district final with Royal Oak High June 2. The Colts topped the Ravens 6-3 to earn the program’s second district crown in three years.

Troy High senior shortstop Aaron Sexton slides safely into third during a Division 1 district final with Royal Oak High June 2. The Colts topped the Ravens 6-3 to earn the program’s second district crown in three years.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Advertisement

TROY — For the third straight season, Troy Athens captured a Division 1 district crown on the softball diamond.

The Red Hawks did so by a combined 33-0 margin in three postseason games. The clincher was a 6-0 decision over Royal Oak High June 2 at Troy High.

“We were able to shut out the three teams and score plenty of runs. It’s a testament to our pitching, defense and hitting,” Athens coach Kerry Brennan said. “What more can you ask for? I hope we keep rolling into regionals and keep our confidence high, because we need all of that going for us against Clarkston (High).”

Athens will face Clarkston in a regional semifinal at 10 a.m. June 9 at Lake Orion High. The other side of the bracket pits Birmingham Seaholm with Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

Brennan cited a strong group of seniors as the key to completing the three-peat. Amanda Wewer, Rachel Van Proeyen, Mikayla Kirtland, Lanie Ellinger, Hannah Kukla, Katy McGarry and Sidney Wickersham are the upperclassmen employed by Brennan this season.

The club’s ace, Ellinger had 28 strikeouts and only six hits allowed during the district run. The starter behind the plate, McGarry went 5 for 11 with four RBIs.

“This year we have seven seniors on our team who each play such an important role for us,” Brennan explained. “Our team has been working extremely hard in practice and in games, so it feels good to be enjoying a win streak since the beginning of May. The girls have earned it. Our goal each season is to play softball for as long as we can so that our seniors can keep playing with us.”

Brennan was referencing a streak that saw Athens win 16 of 17 total games played since May 8.

“Our bats have been on fire and our defense has been really solid,” Brennan said.

Troy baseball also earned a district championship. It’s the program’s second in three years. 

The Colts topped Athens 9-3 in the semifinal June 2 before besting Royal Oak 6-3 in the final.

“The district championship is a big deal for us,” Troy coach Tim Mullen said. “We lost last year in the final to (Birmingham) Brother Rice. We lost 11 seniors from last year, so we’re pretty young. To see our team develop and get better over the year has been great.”

Against Athens, junior Nick Gajewski pitched five innings with five strikeouts. Sophomore Dan Schroeder went 2 for 2 with a double, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.

In the championship over the Ravens, senior Stephen McAvoy tossed five innings. He notched four strikeouts while giving up three hits, two walks and a pair of runs.

“I think we’re very confident in what we’re doing and how we’re playing right now,” Mullen said. “But we realize that we’re up against some extremely tough competition and will have to play our best baseball of the year next weekend to have a chance to advance.”

The Colts will face Waterford Mott at 10 a.m. June 9 in a regional semifinal at Lake Orion. The other side of the bracket will feature Brother Rice and Utica Eisenhower.

Regardless of the regional result, Mullen is pleased with what his roster has accomplished so far.

“We won the league (Oakland Activities Association Blue Division) for the first time since 2013, and this was the first time since 2004 that we won the league and district in the same year,” Mullen explained. “We’re trying to build a culture of winning and an expectation that we will win the district each year. All of these wins help to achieve that goal.”

In girls soccer, the Colts also earned a district title as Troy topped Athens 1-0 in a final June 2 at Berkley High.

“It went as expected for a game with Troy and Athens,” Troy coach Dan Troccoli said. “It was a very close game, and they play exceptional defense. (Athens coach) Todd (Heugh) had them very well-prepared for us.”

Senior forward Hailey Stewart scored less than 15 minutes into the contest. It marked her third goal of the district run, which saw Troy top Bloomfield Hills High 2-1 May 31 and Berkley 3-2 May 29.

“We both had plenty of opportunities after Hailey’s goal,” Troccoli said. “We were able to play very good defense and keep them from having an effective offensive attack. It’s always fun and exciting to play Athens. … There was a lot of pressure, but we handled it well.”

The Colts advanced to face Fraser High in a regional semifinal.

Advertisement