Liggett softball ranked near top in the state

By: Mark Vest | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 25, 2017

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s softball program has advanced at least as far as the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs each of the last four years.

The Knights are once again proving themselves to be capable of making a deep playoff run.

At press time, Liggett was the No. 2 ranked team in Division 3 according to the Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association, behind only Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.

“We’re getting exactly what we expected,” said Liggett coach Jim Schmidt, whose team sat at 7-1 overall. “The real surprise is that we have five freshmen that are on the team this year, and that’s been a very pleasant surprise, because I think our team has actually gotten stronger then it was last year by the addition of the freshmen, who are proving to be very outstanding players in their own right.”

One of the freshmen Schmidt said has been doing well is catcher Jenna Hummel, who is now part of a team that includes three All-State players from last season — pitcher Emma St. John, center fielder Emily Miserendino and shortstop Madison Hamilton.

Aside from having a pitcher in St. John who is good enough to have earned an opportunity to play at the NCAA Division I level next year with the University of Detroit Mercy, Schmidt thinks what also makes the team special is having strong batters throughout the lineup.

“It’s kind of a nice combination of things,” he said. “It’s really nice to coach such a team, because they don’t come around like that very often. … It’s a very strong team.”

Schmidt estimated he has been a part of Liggett’s program for 45 years, either as an assistant or the head guy. And although there has been a lot of tradition and a lot of wins, there is still one big prize he hopes awaits the program — a state championship.

“When you win a big tournament like that, the state tournament, it is special. I want them to have that, because they’ve worked very hard to get to where they are,” said Schmidt.

Regardless of how things turn out, Schmidt is still excited to be with a program that has been a large part of his life.

“The facilities are great, the family support in the area is great, and the girls are wonderful to work with,” he said. “I’m excited every day I come out.”

Up next, Liggett takes on Allen Park Inter-City Baptist at 4:30 p.m. April 27 at home.

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