Macomb Dakota softball coach Dave Prestininzi waves home Briana Bumbalough during a June 3 playoff win. The Cougars softball team won at least 25 games for the fourth time in five seasons. The team has averaged more than 30 wins a season since the start of the 2015 campaign.

Macomb Dakota softball coach Dave Prestininzi waves home Briana Bumbalough during a June 3 playoff win. The Cougars softball team won at least 25 games for the fourth time in five seasons. The team has averaged more than 30 wins a season since the start of the 2015 campaign.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


Dakota softball coach proud of team following run to regionals

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 12, 2019

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Dakota softball team continued its run of success with another strong campaign in 2019.

The Cougars won 25 games, giving the program a five-year average of 30.3 wins since the start of the 2015 season. Dakota bested Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 3-0 to win another Division 1 district championship June 3. The Cougars finished second in the tough Macomb Area Conference Red Division, following a run of four straight division titles.

“It was a good year,” Dakota coach Dave Prestininzi said. “We were a little slow out of the gate like everybody, but we found our footing and played some good softball.”

The Cougars season would end June 8 in a 13-1, five-inning loss to Warren Regina in a regional semifinal.

The fourth inning was the difference, as the Saddlelites plated 12 runs in the top half of the frame to take control.

“One game, one play, one inning — that doesn’t define our season and it doesn’t define who the girls are as players or people,” Prestininzi said. “This is a team of good players, and they showed it over the course of a full season. Obviously, this isn’t how we would’ve wanted the season to end, but the players should be proud of what they accomplished this season. I know I’m proud of them.”

Dakota lost six players to graduation: Samantha DiCicco, Savana Erb, Lauren Bobowski, Katie Courneya, Gabby Parrish and Erin Wehler.

Prestininzi said it’s important for the graduates to put the regional semifinal behind them, as five of them will play at the collegiate level next season.

“I hate ending the season this way for the seniors, because now they’re all going in different directions,” Prestininzi said. “But they’ve got to put this behind them. If they can learn from it, it’s growth. If they let it linger, it might cause some problems and we don’t want that.”

The Cougars have nine players eligible to return next season. Prestininzi said he believes the program is set up for sustained success. He cited the play of Dakota’s freshman and JV teams, which had a combined mark of 45-1 this season.

“Obviously, we’ll miss the seniors. That’s for sure,” Prestininzi said. “But it’s ‘next player up’ now. We’ve got some good players coming back. We’ve got a freshman pitcher coming in who’ll be pretty good. Not only will we be good next year, we’re set up to have success for a while.”

 

Dakota baseball wins super regional championship
Macomb Dakota baseball is two wins away from a Division 1 state title.

The Cougars advanced to the state semifinals with an 11-3 win over Grosse Pointe South June 8 in a super regional.

Dakota (21-16) meets Rockford High in a state semifinal at 9 a.m. June 13 at Michigan State University.

This is the second straight season the Cougars have played into the last week of the season, after winning a D-1 regional title in 2018.

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