BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The energy was high as Clarkston hitters danced near their home dugout to a Pitbull song on Saturday afternoon.
The energy carried over into two games as the Clarkston Varsity Softball team claimed their back-to-back district championship.
The girls opened with a 2-1 win over Oxford in the district semifinals.
“I want to tip my hat off to Oxford because the girls played a great game. Kaitlyn Bean pitched a phenomenal game,” said Don Peters, head coach. “It’s a shame you have to have the No.1 and No. 3 teams in the first game in the districts. Our girls have worked really hard the last two weeks, focusing on what they needed to do to win the battle. I give all the credit to how hard they worked. They are dedicated, focused, and tough under pressure.”
Clarkston took their lead off their fourth batter in the bottom of the first inning when senior Paige Blevins hit a 2-run home run.
The Wildcats scored their lone run at the top of the fourth inning.
Junior Olivia Warrington pitched all seven innings, striking out six and walking one.
“She is really focused under pressure,” Peters said. “She zeroes in and really accomplishes what she needs to do. She’s a clutch player.”
Clarkston opened the first inning against Waterford Kettering in the district finals with five runs and closed the game with seven runs in the fifth inning to win the game, 17-0.
“I didn’t think we would do that,” Peters said, explaining Kettering had beaten Lake Orion. “I thought we could shut them down with pitching. I didn’t know we would hit the ball like that. The girls were emotionally ready to go. The energy from the first game was still there. Kettering got the blunt of it.”
Senior Hannah Chadwell hit a grand slam during the game and had five RBIs.
“She has worked her way to be a really good hitter,” Peters added. “Mentally it’s tough. She just kept working on it and working on it. The last half of the season she started to hit like that. Hats off to her because you have to work through things sometimes.”
Blevins also had five RBIs and had a home run. Hannah Cady had four RBIs. Cady, Abbey Tolmie and Sierra Kersten had four hits each.
Warrington pitched for three innings and had four strikeouts and Abbey Barta pitched for two innings with two strikeouts.
The Wolves (35-2) play Troy Athens in the region semifinals on Saturday at Lake Orion, 10 a.m. The winner moves on to play Birmingham Seaholm/Stoney Creek winner in the championship game at 2 p.m.
The regional winner plays in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The Wolves finished in the Final Four last year with five freshman. Peters said the team has the potential and the experience to go all the way.
“One pitch at a time,” he added.