BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
The Wolves happily accepted the MHSAA Softball Division 1 Regional 7 trophy at Oxford High School on Saturday after taking down two teams in five innings.
“It is well-deserved,” said Clarkston Varsity Softball Head Coach Don Peters. “The girls have worked hard all year. This is good for them.”
He added it was good softball on all aspects.
“Great pitching, hitting,defense and good base-running – just all around good softball,” he smiled.
They claimed the crown after beating Rochester Adams in the regional final in five innings, 10-0. The Wolves scored one run at the top of the first inning off a hit by junior Hannah Cady. The bases were loaded by the time juniors Abbey Barta and Nyah Ansel stepped on the plate. The Highlanders were ready on defense as they caught both of their hits to close the inning.
It was Adams turn to tie or get ahead in the score and they had three batters hit senior Olivia Warrington’s pitches but two of them were out before they made it to first base. Warrington struck out the sixth batter with the bases loaded.
Clarkston changed the momentum in the second inning. Cady had one more RBI off her hit. Next to swing was junior Sierra Kersten who hit the ball over the centerfield fence for a 3-run homer, putting the score 5-0.
The Highlanders didn’t have a chance to even make it onto base as Warrington struck out all three of their hitters at the bottom of the second inning. Then, two more during the third inning.
“They gave us a good battle the first couple of innings,” said Peters. “Then, we had a couple key hits including the home run from Sierra. It knocked the wind out of their sails.”
They scored two more runs in the fourth inning off a hit from Cady. Then, three runs from their seniors in the fifth inning with two RBIs off Anna Skvarce’s hit and one run from Mary Gallagher.
Cady, junior Abbey Tolmie and Gallagher went 4-for-4 at the plate. Cady had four RBIs. Gallagher had one RBI.
Kersten went 3-for-3 and hit a homerun and double with three RBIs. Skvarce also went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.
The Wolves opened Saturday with a 10-0 win over Birmingham Groves. They opened with one run scored at the top of the first inning. Kersten hit the ball and it was caught but it was enough time for Tolmie to run in to home.
Groves had two hits in the first inning which were caught by Kersten and sophomore Angelena Perry. The third out came from pitcher junior Abbey Barta with a strikeout.
During the second inning, Tolmie hit a triple to bring in three runs and Gallagher had one run off her hit to put the score, 5-0.
Clarkston went on to score four more runs in the third inning with one run off Barta’s double, two runs off a double from sophomore Mac Ming, and one run from Tolmie.
Groves couldn’t get onto the bases in the inning as the first two batters were struck out by Barta and Ming caught the one hit from the Falcons.
For the team, especially juniors Ansel Barta, Cady, Kersten and Tolmie this is the third consecutive regional win and third consecutive trip to quarterfinals.
“Three league, three district and three regional in their first three years,” said Peters. “Now we are going to work hard to win the next one.”
The Wolves played Hartland in the MHSAA Softball Division 1 Quarterfinals on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be tough,” Peters said. “There are really good teams. We are ready for it. Like I have said they have worked really hard to get to this point. I think they are focused and determined.”
Clarkston defeated Hartland, 11-3. They will play Howell in the semifinals on Thursday at Secchia Stadium, Michigan State University, 5:30 p.m. The championship game is Saturday at MSU, 12:30 p.m.