It’s a rivalry based on proximity and fan passion but, based on recent results, not much else.
Would you believe, it’s been 363 days since Detroit Mercy beat Oakland — in any sport.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Golden Grizzlies won the Metro Series, the head-to-head competition between the two athletic departments. And this year, they did it in wildly dominating fashion.
The schools met in 18 competitions during the 2017-18 academic year, either in head-to-head games, or in tournaments or invitationals where both competed, and Oakland won or finished ahead of Detroit Mercy in 17 of them. The only outlier: A 0-0 tie in men’s soccer back on Oct. 14.
That makes for a final score of 31 Oakland, 1 Detroit Mercy. Ouch.
“All of our teams this year performed at a high level,” said Padraic McMeel, interim athletic director at Oakland. “And it’s great to see them excel against a quality rival in the Titans.”
That P.C. comment came in an official Oakland press release.
The less-P.C. comment came via Oakland’s Twitter account: “We’ll just leave this here...@detroittitans,” followed by a graphic of the last year’s results.
The last time Detroit Mercy beat Oakland in any sport was May 11, 2017, when Detroit Mercy softball beat Oakland, 4-1, in the Horizon League tournament.
Detroit Mercy didn’t qualify for this year’s Horizon League softball tournament, capping off the final standings in the Metro Series.
In the marquee sport, basketball, Oakland men won a couple of closer-than-they-should-have-been games, 92-86 on Jan. 20 and 87-78 on Feb. 9, and Oakland women won 83-50 on Jan. 27 and 85-74 on Feb. 19.
Eastern Michigan freshman Lauren Holdsworth (Howell) was named the winner of the Mid-American Conference’s Nan Harvey Award, given to the conference’s softball player that displays a commitment to excellence on and off the field.
Holdsworth, who is deaf, batted .243 with 25 hits, including 10 doubles, two home runs and 13 RBIs, while maintaining a 3.81 grade-point average as an exercise science major.
She’s also big into community service, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Michigan Adult Academy, Food Gatherers Food Pantry, Pittsfield Elementary School and VA hospitals, among other causes.
In more MAC softball awards, Central Michigan catcher Maison Kalina and first baseman Erika Underwood and Western Michigan outfielder Sam Coffel and utility player/pitcher Sydney Stefanick made first-team All-MAC.
The MAC tournament started Wednesday in Akron, Ohio, with CMU and WMU in the field. EMU’s season, its last after the university cut four athletic programs earlier this year, ended Saturday with a doubleheader loss at WMU.
Rochester adds 2 sports
Rochester College announced Wednesday it is adding two sports, starting in 2018-19 — men’s wrestling and women’s lacrosse.
That brings the college’s athletic roster to 20 programs competing in the Division III Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
“At a time when many schools are cutting athletic programs, we are beyond grateful we are able to give more athletes a chance to continue their careers while also furthering their education,” said Klint Pleasant, senior vice president and special assistant to the president at Rochester College.
Paul Holdren will be the wrestling coach, after a fine career at Mott Community College.
Allison Cumper, who’s coached at several area high schools after playing on Oakland’s club team, will be the lacrosse coach.
Rochester College is looking to continue the expansion of its athletic roster, with future plans to add men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s volleyball and even eSports.
This and that
■ The Corner Ballpark, at the old Tiger Stadium site, is hosting its first marquee event this week — the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournament, Thursday through Sunday.
Wayne State is the No. 4 seed and opens at 6 Thursday against No. 3 Ashland, and No. 5 Grand Valley State plays No. 2 Davenport at 2:30 Thursday.
It’s a double-elimination tournament. Daily passes are $10, and students get in free with an ID.
■ Oakland’s Madison Jones (Romeo) was named Horizon League freshman of the year in softball, after bashing 11 home runs and setting a program record with a .738 slugging percentage. She takes a 21-game hitting streak into No. 2 seed Oakland’s Horizon League tournament opener Thursday, at Illinois-Chicago. Jones also made first-team All-Horizon League, as did Oakland pitcher Haley Zemmer.
■ Michigan State hockey announced four additions to its recruiting class: Novi twins Christian Krygier and Cole Krygier (both defensemen), Okemos forward Adam Goodsir and Poland forward Wojciech Stachowiak.
■ Michigan women’s water polo will play in the NCAA quarterfinals at 8:15 Friday against No. 3 California, in Los Angeles. It’s the Wolverines third consecutive appearance in the NCAAs.
■ Grand Valley State and Saginaw Valley State are in the Division II NCAA softball regionals. Grand Valley, as a No. 1 seed, hosts in Allendale starting Thursday, and Saginaw Valley, as a 4 seed, travels to Springfield, Ill.
■ The Michigan State women's golf team's run in the NCAA Championships came to an end Wednesday in regional play. The Spartans finished eight; the top six teams advanced to the next round.