Chelsea Softball wins its first regional title since 2004 and leads the sports round-up in Ann Arbor
FLAT ROCK – It took a long time for Chelsea’s softball team.
The Bulldogs had waited more than a decade for a team to come through that could make a deep run into the postseason like their 2002 and 2003 state title teams.
That team makes up this year’s roster as Chelsea Flat Rock first defeated Flat Rock 8-5 in the Division 2 regional semifinals before pulling away from New Boston Huron 12-5 on Saturday for the program’s first regional championship since 2004 to win.
Chelsea will now face Detroit Country Day in the state quarter-finals on Tuesday at Novi High School.
The Bulldogs took control of the game late when they scored six runs in the seventh inning to turn a 6-5 lead into a 12-5 advantage.
Huron failed to react in the lower part of the inning when the Bulldogs closed the game to begin the weekend celebration.
Chelsea’s offense received extra boost from Maggie Olaveson, who scored two home runs to break the team’s single-season record for homer, while running four runs for the Bulldogs, which improved to 36-4.
The Bulldogs took a 4-2 lead after the fourth inning and led 5-4 in the top of the fifth, but Huron responded with three runs in the fifth to tie the game as they entered the sixth inning.
A mistake by Huron allowed Chelsea to regain the lead 6-5 in the sixth game, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the momentum in the final inning.
Bekah Zachrich hit an RBI single to load the bases and give Chelsea a 7-5 lead.
A wild throw from Huron extended Chelsea’s lead to 8-5 before Madison Kay tripled to take two more runs to increase the lead to 10-5.
Chelsea took advantage of another mistake to score another run, and Mya Purdy crowned the goal with an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a seven-run advantage before closing him defensively.
Sophomore Emilee Underwood set up another solid game for the Bulldogs as she completed seven innings and hit seven batters to deserve the win.
In the regional semi-final victory over Flat Rock, Underwood beat nine thugs in seven innings of work to win that game as well.
On the record, Chelsea’s Jenna Oullette posted three hits, including a grand slam, and Maggie Olaveson added a home run and two more RBIs.
Lincoln’s historic run ends in the regional semifinals
The Railsplitters saw their best softball season in program history come to an end on Saturday just before a regional championship.
Lincoln rallied to beat Saline 4-3 in the D1 semi-finals but couldn’t find enough runs to keep up with South Lyon in the title game and fell 12-1 back to end the season 25-7.
South Lyon took a 3-0 lead after the first inning, adding 3-5 in the innings before scoring two goals in the sixth inning and four in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
The Railsplitters were kept on just two hits courtesy of Harper Crews, and Paige Cunningham and Braylynn Kelly scored their lone run.
Despite the defeat, Lincoln made its deepest postseason run of all time and was able to move into the final thanks to a comeback victory against Saline.
The Hornets led Lincoln 3-1 into the fifth inning before the Railsplitters crossed on three runs and held defensively.
Lauren Snyder led Lincoln with two hits, two RBIs and one run, while McKenna Johnson added two hits and scored one run. Lilly Majeske earned the win by knocking out four clubs and allowing five hits in six innings.
Saline finished his season aged 25-13 and was led by Clara Cherry in his last game. Cherry hit a home run and recorded three RBIs. Elaina Walker set up six innings that allowed for eight hits and four runs with nine strikeouts.
Whitmore Lake falls in the D4 regional final
The Trojans were another team from the region that had its magical season finale on Saturday with a championship at stake.
After earning their first district title since 2003, the Trojans couldn’t get past Allen Park Cabrini in the D4 regional semifinals when they lost the game 12-1.
Pioneer gives up lead in the final inning of the regional title game
Pioneer was close to a regional championship on Saturday.
The Pioneers had fought their way to the bottom of the seventh against Grand Ledge with a 2-1 lead and needed another one with the loaded bases to make it to the quarter-finals of the states.
But Grand Ledge’s Aiden Alspaugh squeezed a single into right field, tying and winning the game to shock the Pioneers 3-2.
Matt Grier, Donnie Thompson and Sean Knorr all championed the Pioneers, combining seven Grand Ledge batter, while Thompson added an RBI.