Foley softball looking to return to form

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published April 4, 2016

 Bishop Foley’s Emilee Dover hit .407 last season and is one of the team’s top throwers.

Bishop Foley’s Emilee Dover hit .407 last season and is one of the team’s top throwers.

Photo by Sean Work

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Madison Heights Bishop Foley softball coach John Ploskonka admittedly doesn’t pay much attention to wins and losses in the regular season.

The skipper has led the Ventures since 2008 and keeps his focus on peaking for the postseason.

“We’re going to play tough teams this year, but we always do. Record, I don’t care about that. I have more losses than wins, but also have six district championships and (a regional championship),” Ploskonka said. “It’s all about the end of the year. … I know where we need to peak, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be fine in May and June.”

Last season, Foley finished 8-24 overall. The Ventures are in the Catholic High School League Intersectional Division I, where Ploskonka called Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes the favorite.

“Lakes won it last year, and they’re a pretty good team and had a freshman thrower along with some other good returning players,” Ploskonka said.

For its part, Ploskonka’s team returns six starters, including sophomore pitchers Emilee Dover and Mary Myers.

“(Myers) is like our flamethrower and Emilee is our knuckleballer,” Ploskonka said. “They both could be No. 1 throwers. One throws one game, one throws the other, because we mostly play doubleheaders.

“Our pitching, while both sophomores now, they pitched well last year, and they understand the game better now.”

Both are also proficient with a bat in their hands. Dover hit .407 last season and Myers batted at a .348 clip.

Senior Phoebe Szakacs is behind the plate. Last season, she started at first base and caught in the big games due to her arm strength. Now she’s there full time. She hit .381.

Junior Erin Whitman returns to third base. She’s one of three left-handers in the lineup. Last season, she hit .365.

There was a time when Foley was one of the most feared teams at the district level in the area, when full classes went through their postseason careers without a loss at the district level.

The Ventures won titles from 2006 to 2012, but have been shut out since then. Ploskonka believes this is the squad that can return the program to the top.

“We’ll definitely be back there. I see us winning the district, and hopefully doing well in regionals too,” he said.

Catch the Ventures in their division opener against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in a doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m. April 8 on the road.

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