SOFTBALL: Top-ranked Clarkston downs Athens, Stoney Creek to repeat as regional champion | North Oakland Sports

SOFTBALL: Top-ranked Clarkston downs Athens, Stoney Creek to repeat as regional champion

| June 10, 2018 | Comments (0)



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LAKE ORION — After losing in the state semifinals last season and Clarkston appears to be a team on a mission to make it back to the final weekend of the season.

The top-ranked Wolves captured their second straight regional title and third in 15 years Saturday at Lake Orion High School with a pair of convincing wins. Clarkston rolled post Troy Athens, 13-3, in the first semifinal, then blanked Rochester Stoney Creek, 5-0, in the title game to remain very much alive in the postseason and three wins shy of a first state title.

Clarkston (37-2) will face the Novi regional winner at 1 p.m. Tuesday in the state quarterfinals at Wayne State University.

“It kind of sound like a cliche or cheesy, but these girls are awfully close and have great chemistry. That’s part of the reason why they have done so well,” admitted veteran Clarkston coach Don Peters. “They do a lot of together in the offseason and in the season. I think that truly helps out on the softball diamond.”

Junior Olivia Warrington won both games, including a one-hit gem in the finals that included 15 strikeouts. She allowed a single in the fourth and a hit batsmen in the sixth and at one time fanned seven straight batters, including striking out the side in the second and third innings.

“She’s pitched well all season, but I thought she was very good today,” said Peters. “We have played in some tough games and the thing about her is she gets the job done. She’s like 25-2 pitching this season. We’ve played some tough teams, so she’s had to pitch against some really good teams and she’s kept us in all of those games.”

Clarkston played perfect defense behind Warrington in the finals. The Wolves scored two in the first, one in the fifth and two more in the seventh to oust Stoney Creek.

Paige Blevins gave Clarkston all the runs it would need when she belted a two-run homer in the first inning. Sierra Kersten added an RBI single in the fifth, while Kersten plated two more runs in the seventh on a single to left and a wild throw which allowed her to round the bases.

“We have some tough hitters in our lineup. We know that we’re gong to have hits in most games and we do a good job of putting the ball into play and we have some good power in our lineup as well,” added Peters. “We saw that again today in our wins.”

Stoney Creek’s Lauren Erickson, who pitched the Cougars to the 6-2 win in the second semifinals, suffered the loss in the finals. She yielded eight hits, one walk, two errors by Stoney Creek’s infield and struck out two.

“We lost to who I think is the very best team in the state,” said Stoney Creek coach Thomas Hayman of Clarkston. “There is no shame in that.

“We never even had a district win until 2016 and we never won a district championship until this season. And we never had a regional win until we beat Seaholm today, so these are steps up for our program,” Hayman. “We had great season. We had great leadership. The girls worked so hard to get this far.”

ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK 6, BIRMINGHAM SEAHOLM 2: Stoney Creek never trailed in recording its first win in the regionals rounds in school history.

Tyler Brooklyn had an RBI sac bunt, Brooke French scored on a wild pitch and Mandy Lillie chipped in an RBI single in the bottom of the second for a 3-0 lead, while French laced an RBI double in the third for the Cougars.

In the sixth, Stoney Creek tacked on two more runs on three singles and a walk. Lauren Erikson and Megan Greenwald had RBI singles in the frame.

Seaholm’s Mikayla Cupisz singled and later scored on a throwing error, while Vatia Camaki added an RBI Single in the bottom half of the fifth. The Maples’ rally was snuffed out on a base-running blunder.

CLARKSTON 13, TROY ATHENS 3 (5 innings): Clarkston made quick work in the semifinals to ousts the Red Hawks.

Hannah Cady finished with four hits and scored three runs for the Wolves. Hannah Chadwell added a two-run homer and Sierra Kersten finished 4-for-4 and scored four times for Clarkston.

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