SOFTBALL: Rochester Stoney Creek's deepest postseason run ends in Sweet 16 | North Oakland Sports

SOFTBALL: Rochester Stoney Creek’s deepest postseason run ends in Sweet 16

| June 12, 2018 | Comments (0)



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LAKE ORION —  In recent years, Rochester Stoney Creek’s softball team has enjoyed plenty of success.

A couple of OAA White Division championships was followed up by three years competing in the ever-tough OAA Red Division — a league known to be one of Michigan’s toughest in just about every sport.

The Cougars still didn’t enjoy an postseason success when they worthier first postseason game. In 2018, Stoney Creek took it a few steps further, winning its first Division 1 district title this season and advancing to the Division 1 regional finals before bowing out to top-ranked Clarkston (5-0) at Lake Orion high School.

Stoney Creek defeated Utica Eisenhower (8-1) and rival Rochester Adams (2-1) for the first district crown on June 2. The following weekend on June 9, the Cougars (19-18) defeated Birmingham Seaholm (6-2) for the first regional win before the loss to Clarkston.

“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 game win until we beat Seaholm, so these are steps up for our program,” continued Hayman. “We had great season. We had great leadership. The girls worked so hard to get this far.”

Competing at a high level and with a tough schedule aided the Cougars in 2018.

“The girls deserved this because they have put in the work and it’s been so hard just to win a district game in our area. To finally win a district and reach the (regional finals) is rewarding for all of them, especially the seniors,” added Hayman. “We played a tough schedule with many games against (ranked teams).”

Stoney Creek’s solid senior class, many which are third- and fourth-year varsity veterans, led the Cougars this season and to their deepest postseason run in school history.

“Sidney Rayba led us in most categories. She’s a Division I commit to Oakland University and a great center fielder for us,” noted Hayman. “Lauren Erickson was solid on the mound all season for us as our top pitcher. She could be dominating in some games. I don’t know how many times Clarkston was held to five runs or less. Mandy Lilla, our third baseman, was solid, and our catcher, Tina Vitale, was another solid player but broke her wrist a couple of weeks ago. She was our No. 4 hitter so not having her kind of hurt us a little.”

Stoney Creek, which finished fifth in the OAA Red Division, will return 10 of 14 players next season.

“We’ll miss the seniors. We’ll have out work cut out for us trying to replace them,” said Hayman.

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