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 Warren Regina sophomore infielder Mia Konyvka is mobbed by teammates after hitting a grand slam in the team's 11-5 June 11 win over Garden City High in a Division 1 state quarterfinal.

Warren Regina sophomore infielder Mia Konyvka is mobbed by teammates after hitting a grand slam in the team's 11-5 June 11 win over Garden City High in a Division 1 state quarterfinal.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Regina softball battles back to best Garden City, heads to state semis

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published June 11, 2019

DETROIT — The Warren Regina softball team is headed back to the Division 1 state semifinals for the second straight year after an 11-5 June 11 state quarterfinal win over Garden City but it wasn’t easy.

The Saddlelites (29-10) dug themselves out of an early 5-0 hole, led by strong pitching from senior pitcher Marisa Muglia and some timely hitting.

The Cougars jumped on the Saddlelites, scoring five runs — all with no outs — in the top of the second inning. Muglia settled down to strike out three straight to get out of the jam.

“I just got really frustrated because every time I’d look at the scoreboard, there’d be no outs,” said Muglia, who finished with 12 strikeouts. “That was a really bad inning for us. I was glad we were able to get out of it.”

Regina coach Diane Laffey, two wins away from a seventh state championship, called the inning uncharacteristic for her team. She said there were some mental errors made the players usually don’t.

Muglia looked to start of Saddlelites rally in the team’s half of the second. The senior hurler laced a double to deep left center, then later scored on an error after a sacrifice fly to cut the Garden City lead to 5-1.

“Getting that first run was big,” Muglia said. “It kind of gave us some momentum. We got pretty hyped in the dugout.”

Things started to turn in the third, as Regina loaded the bases after an intentional walk to Muglia with one out. Sophomore infielder Mia Konyvka made Garden City pay, blasting a bomb over the wall in left center field for a grand slam to tie the game at 5-5. The Saddlelites later in the inning took a 6-5 edge after a Garden City error on a slow roller from freshman infielder Adriana James allowed freshman infielder Abby Hornberger to score from second base.

Laffey understands the Garden City staff didn’t know much about her team coming to the game. That would explain walking Muglia to get to Konyvka, who Laffey called Regina’s best hitter.

“I just saw a meatball and I just tried to take advantage of it,” Konyvka said. “I don’t really get upset if somebody walks a batter to get to me. I just want to do my job and help out my team the best I can.”

Things settled down after that, as there was only one base runner from the top of the fourth inning through the top of the sixth.

Regina, which meets Bay City Western in a D-1 state semifinal at 3 p.m. June 13 at Michigan State University, added some insurance scores in the bottom of the sixth, as Konyvka and Hornberger, junior outfielders Jacqueline Jozefczyk and Alana LaRue, and senior infielder Leah Munson each drove in runs to give the Saddlelites an 11-5 edge.

Coming into the state quarterfinal, Regina had outscored five playoff opponents 52-7. Garden City had a 31-2 advantage over four postseason foes.

“I don’t know much about Bay City Western,” Laffey said. “I know they’ve been ranked in the top 10 all year. We’ll have to play better than we did today if we want to beat them.”