Warren Regina softball players celebrate with their Division 1 regional championship trophy after a 5-4, eight inning win over Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse in a regional final.

Warren Regina softball players celebrate with their Division 1 regional championship trophy after a 5-4, eight inning win over Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse in a regional final.

Photo by Jason Carmel Davis

Regina softball outlasts L’Anse Creuse to claim second straight regional championship

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published June 8, 2019

STERLING HEIGHTS — A double to right field off of the bat of Warren Regina outfielder Jacqueline Jozefczyk drove in the winning run in the Saddlelites 5-4 eight inning triumph over Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in a June 8 Division 1 regional final.

Regina (28-10) advances to take on Garden City High in a D-1 state quarterfinal set for 4 p.m. June 11 at Wayne State University. The Saddlelites head into the quarters seeking the program’s seventh state title and first since 2015.

Jozefczyk's game-winning hit was set up after Lancers pitcher Brooke Nadolny walked two batters with one out in the eighth. Jozefczyk's drive plated infielder Adriana James.

“I saw the pitch was a little outside and I just tried to drive it to right field,” Jozefczyk said. “This is important to us. We feel like we have the pieces to execute and win a state title. We’re really focused on that.”

The game got to extra innings because of a two-run double to right field by L’Anse Creuse infielder Cynthia Galvan with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Lancers infielder Rylee Thomas reached on an error following a walk from pitcher Brooke Nadolny to set up the tying hit.

Nadolny, who ends her prep career with a state record 73 home runs, was walked three times in four plate appearances in the regional final. Nadolny’s 73 home runs are good for second-most in the history of U.S. high school softball.

L’Anse Creuse coach Lisa Downey said she expects Nadolny to draw a lot of walks, but it puts the team in a tough spot due to a lack of depth in the batting order.

Regina coach Diane Laffey said she came into the game not wanting Nadolny to get a chance to beat the Saddlelites.

“I wouldn’t pitch to (Nadolny), either,” said Downey, who’s team ends the season at 29-7. “But it hurts us when she doesn’t get a chance to hit, because we don’t have the depth at the bottom of our order that Regina has. They were able to get a lot of production from the bottom of their lineup.”

Galvan, who drove in all four Lancers runs, got the scoring started with a single to left field in the bottom of the first that scored Nadolny to put L’Anse Creuse up 1-0.

Regina, winners of a second straight regional title, tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second when a L’Anse Creuse error allowed infielder Mia Konyvka to score from second base.

James put the Saddlelites up 2-1 in the top of the fourth with a single to right field, driving in infielder Abby Hornberger.

Galvan in the bottom of the fifth lined a single to center field to score Rylee Thomas and tie the game at 2-2.

Regina went up 3-2 in the top of the sixth when infielder Kiley Dulapa lined a double to left field that scored Horberger. The Saddlelites took a 4-2 advantage on an RBI double from pitcher Marisa Muglia in the top of the seventh inning.

Laffey called the Jozefczyk RBI crucial. She believed L’Anse Creuse had momentum following the seventh inning.

“This game is big for us,” Laffey said. “A lot of these girls were on the field when we lose 1-0 in the state semifinals last year and they want to avenge that. They really fought to pull this win out.”

“Credit to Regina — they were able to get timely hits,” Downey said. “When you’re at this point in the season, on this stage, there’s some destiny involved. Hopefully we’re that team of destiny one of these seasons. We’ve been close.”

Muglia got the complete-game win for Regina, going eight innings and allowing eight hits, and three walks, while recording 10 strikeouts.

Nadolny in eight innings surrendered 11 hits and six walks, while striking out 10.

Regina bested Macomb Dakota 13-1 in five innings in a regional semifinal to advance.

L’Anse Creuse outlasted St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 3-2 in eight innings to get to the regional final.