Haile Neal stepped to the plate in the bottom of the seventh 0-for-3 in a tie game. Having just seen her team pull off a double play in the top of the inning to save a run, Neal took that momentum and smashed the ball over the wall in left field for a walk-off home run that gave Woodhaven a 3-2 win Monday over Downriver League rival Taylor Kennedy.
As Neal rounded the bases, the emotion of her first walk-off home run got to her.
“She almost cried,” Woodhaven coach Rick Weise said. “She was struggling all day, but when she got home, they had a big celebration and doused her with the water jug.”
Neal’s home run was the culmination of a bounce-back inning for Woodhaven (6-2, 3-1), which surrendered a one-run lead in the top of the sixth before narrowly avoiding disaster in the seventh.
Morgan Zackiewicz (3-for-3) tied it for Kennedy with a solo shot in the top of the sixth off Bri Charron, who pitched a complete game and struck out 12 while allowing just six hits for Woodhaven.
“She didn’t need any talking to,” Weise said. “She made a bad pitch and (Zackiewicz) hit it. Kennedy always hits the ball well.”
In the seventh, Charron found herself in a bit of trouble with the winning run on third base and just one out. But a sharply hit ground ball allowed Woodhaven to get the out at first base and throw the runner out at home.
Clawson 11, Warren Fitzgerald 5: Maddie Sparks was the winning pitcher and had two RBIs, Ariana Inez went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, and Allison May went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored for Clawson (3-4). Fitzgerald is 2-1.
Detroit Central 17, Detroit CMA 1 (3 inn.): Daija Parks was the winning pitcher, giving up no hits and striking out three while going 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. J’Nai Sykes went 2-for-2 with a three-run home run and three runs scored, and Ke’Anna Rucker went 2-for-2 with a triple and run scored for Central (2-0).
Detroit Denby 24, Detroit Pershing 3
Detroit Osborn 18, Detroit International Academy 2 (3 inn.): Samantha Smith hit two homers and drove in six runs for Osborn (2-0).
Detroit Renaissance 25, Detroit Cody 2 (3 inn.): Kayla Brown was the winning pitcher with seven strikeouts for Renaissance (7-0, 2-0 PSL).
Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 15, Birmingham Roeper 5 (5 inn.): Randy Pierce had two hits and two RBIs for Roeper.
Birmingham Groves 6, Farmington 5: Max Novick was the winning pitcher, tossing six innings while giving up two hits. Zavier Warren had an RBI triple for Groves (5-1, 1-0 OAA White). Artie Bentley went 2-for-4 with two doubles for Farmington.
Grosse Pointe South 13, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 6: Jack Maher went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, Brad Thompson hit a 3-run home run and Davis Graham hit a two-run home run for South (6-3, 1-0 MAC Red). Patrick Briningstool went 2-for-4 with an RBI for Chippewa Valley.
Melvindale ABT 17-15, Detroit Community 0-0 (both 3 inn.): In Game 1, Zjzjai Smith went 2-for-2 with four RBIs for ABT (6-4, 4-0 MMAC). In Game 2, Smith went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Rene Juarez went 2-for-2 with two triples and three RBIs, and Clemente Reinoso struck out seven. Community is 0-4, 0-3.
Novi 5, Plymouth 3: Spencer VanKirk, Scott Beaton and Joey Carn each had two hits, and Alec Bateris allowed four hits and struck out four in six innings for Novi (8-5, 4-1 KLAA Central).
Marine City Anchor Bay 2, Macomb Dakota 2: Kayla Polisano had a goal and an assist, and Casey Couturier scored for Anchor Bay (4-1-2). Cassidy Kowalski and Harley Gorzelski scored for Dakota (2-1-1).
Birmingham Brother Rice 86, Dearborn Divine Child 42: Octavieous Miles won the discus for Brother Rice with a throw of 153-7. Ryan Nangulabnan won the two-mile run for Divine Child with a time of 10:43.7.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer; News staff contributed