BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Ella Cady hit the ball over the fence for a homerun in the bottom of the sixth inning in the MHSAA Division 1 Regional 7 Semifinals on Saturday.
The hit brought in three runners ending the game against Birmingham Groves, 12-1, and sending the Wolves to the regional final.
“Ella has been our three spot for the entire year, and I know good things are going to happen when she comes up to the plate,” said Clarkston Varsity Softball Head Coach Katie Smith.
The Wolves held the lead after the first inning after scoring two runs to Groves one run.
“It was a sense of security and a little bit of momentum,” said Smith. “Telling the girls we are in it, we can do it. It started us out with a good attitude and mindset going into the next innings.”
During the bottom of the second inning, Alex Moore had two RBIs off her hit, bringing Keira Tolmie and Kayla Cole home.
Kaitlyn Ratich had one RBI off her hit, ending the inning with a 5-1 lead.
The third inning was scoreless for both teams.
Groves’ first three batters at the top of the fourth inning were shut down quickly after their hits. Throws from Tolmie and Cole to Cady made it to first base before the runners, ending the inning.
The Wolves scored two runs during the bottom of the fourth inning with Anna Wilson and and Hannah Wayne with one RBI each off their hits, 7-1.
Only one hitter from Groves made it onto base during the top of the fifth inning as two hits were caught by Wilson and Moore and another runner was out as they reached first base.
“Ava Gushen has been hitting her spots,” said Smith. “She has been doing a great job on the mound, lots of composure. Our defense has just been making every play. We have been working on every play matters and they showed it today.”
Wilson and Wayne struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning with one RBI each off their hits, ending the inning, 9-1.
“The girls really made it a team win,” said Smith. “Our entire team was in this game and they came, they showed up, they executed. We’ve been practicing hard all season and I am just happy our hard work is paying off.”
The Wolves played Farmington Hills Mercy in the regional final and lost in five innings, 14-4. Tolmie and Giselle Bise both hit home runs in the game.
Clarkston finished the season with an overall 8-22 record claiming the district championship and finishing in the Sweet 16.
“It’s definitely been a trying season,” said Smith. “We have our losses and we have had our growth from that. There is just something about post-season that is something special for the team. The girls have been excited. They wanted to be at practice every single day and practicing longer. The biggest thing was learning to play together as a team. None of these girls have played together on this field. Just working team, team, team and coming together. It’s been very rewarding seeing it come together and fall into place.”