Monday night’s Catholic League A-B softball championship game at Detroit Mercy was a matchup of the last two champions, Farmington Hills Mercy (2016) and Warren Regina (2015).
Regina’s 14-6 win gave it its second title in three seasons.
“The kids just really worked hard,” Regina coach Diane Laffey said. “They really believe in themselves and work hard to make themselves better. It’s them. It’s really them.”
Marisa Muglia went the distance for Regina (21-6), allowing six runs — four earned — on 10 hits, while striking out seven, walking four and hitting three batters.
Melina Livingston went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, Meghan Berlin went 2-for-4 and Nina Szalkiewicz went 1-for-2 with three RBIs for Regina.
Nicole Belans hit a two-run single in the top of the first, putting Mercy on the board, but Regina responded with a three-run home run from Berlin (2-for-4) in the bottom of the first, giving Regina a 3-2 lead.
Regina added to its lead in the bottom of the second, on a three-run home run from Livingston.
“The second three-run home run really gave us some cushion,” Laffey said. “They’ve (Berlin and Livingston) been very, very strong hitters all season.”
In the third inning, Regina blew the game open, scoring four more times to make it 10-2.
“We had the benefit of a lot of walks,” Laffey said.
But Mercy wouldn’t go away.
After Regina got another run in the bottom of the fifth, Mercy loaded the bases twice in the top of the sixth.
Anna Dixon hit a bases-clearing double, before Sarah Cassidy legged out an infield single three batters later, cutting Regina’s lead to 11-6.
Szalkiewicz’s three-run single in the top of the sixth helped seal the win.
Sophie VanAcker was 2-for-2 with two walks and was on base four times for Mercy.
More Catholic League softball
Waterford Lakes junior Hannah Davies threw a no-hitter, with 17 strikeouts, leading Lakes to a 5-0 win over Wixom St. Catherine in the C-D championship game. It almost a year to the day after Lakes lost, 3-1, to Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard in the 2016 C-D title game.
Davies, a Bowling Green commit, helped her cause, going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.
“I felt good,” Davies said. “It helped that we started out getting the hits that we did at the beginning. We’re hoping that this will take us far in the state playoffs.”
In the bottom of the first inning, Davies struck out the side in order. She got two more strikeouts in the bottom of the second and cruised from there, striking out the side in three of the first five innings, while allowing just one walk.
Kayla Sanders doubled in two runs in the top of the sixth, padding the lead for Lakes (11-8).
“She did well,” said Davies, who was on first base after being intentionally walked for the second time. “I know when I got walked that I had all the confidence in the world that she was going to hit that ball.”
Lakes coach Steve Troy said there is a sense of redemption after last year’s close loss, but pointed out that this year’s team is different.
“We have no seniors this year,” he said. “It feels good to win, to come back and clean up what we did last year.”
Troy said injuries, including a back problem for Davies that kept the star pitcher out of the circle for five weeks, were an issue for Lakes early in the season.
“It was really a blessing in disguise, because I learned the importance of strengthening my back and working both sides of my muscles,” Davies said.
She said there was no time wasted during those five weeks.
“I was able to play in (those) games at first base and work on my bunting skills,” Davies said. “We also perfected our cheering.”
In the meantime, freshman Kristina Carver got some experience in the circle throwing to batterymate — and older sister — Stephanie.
“It was fun to watch Stephanie catch for her sister,” Davies said.
Lakes starts district play on June 2 at Southfield Christian. St. Catherine is 15-6.
Berkley golf undefeated
Berkley continued its undefeated season, shooting a 165 and finishing 40 strokes better than Auburn Hills Avondale at Fieldstone Golf Club in Auburn Hills.
Jake Radom led the way for Berkley (9-0, 5-0 OAA White), shooting a one-over 37.
“He’s had a great year,” Berkley coach Scott Baltes said. “He had a little slip up at the Oakland County (match). If he does well next week at regionals, he should have no problem making it to states.”
Aiden Kelly shot a 41, while Joey Wolburg had a 42 and Zach Heroux had a 45.
“They’ve been consistent,” Baltes said of Kelly and Wolburg. “I had high expectations of this team. They’ve (shot) 41s and 42s almost all year. They’ve been a good compliment to Jake.”
Nick Rahbany and Nick Buchanan led Avondale, each shooting a nine-over 45, while Max Marzolf had a 49 and Drew Fuller a 56.
Berkley takes on Birmingham Brother Rice at Detroit Golf Club on Wednesday
“That’ll be a good test for us,” Baltes said. “If there’s one team that could take away our undefeated season, it’s Brother Rice.”
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 7, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 2: Connor McCarron went 3-for-4 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBIs, while Jackson Walkowiak went four innings, giving up an unearned run on one hit, three walks and two strikeouts, and went 2-for-2 with a double and a home run for Liggett (24-2). Adam Miller added a two-run home run for Liggett.
Livonia Stevenson 2, Birmingham Groves 0: Branden Posky threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and one walk, while Devin Dunn and George Ferguson each had a double for Stevenson (28-7). Max Novick, who took a shutout into the seventh, gave up two runs — one earned — on four hits, while striking out six, and Zavier Warren went 2-for-3 for Groves (28-5).
Warren De La Salle 7, Sterling Heights Stevenson 3: Kyle Jones gave up three runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and two walks in 6.2 innings, and Bryce Bush went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs for De La Salle (22-10). Luke McGuire went 2-for-3 with two RBIs for Stevenson (22-8).
Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 197, Warren Michigan Collegiate 148: Anthony Hudson won the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.4 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 22.6 and set a school record in the 400-meter dash with a 50.3, on the way to his Charter School Conference MVP honors in Chandler Park’s conference championship win.
Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 212, Romulus Summit Academy 134: Auquay Dean was named the MVP of the Charter Schools Conference after she won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.6 seconds, the 100-meter dash in 13.1 and the 200-meter dash in 27.3.
New Baltimore Anchor Bay 1, Utica Eisenhower 0: Rachel Russo scored and Ally Gaunt made three saves to tie the program record with 12 shutouts this season for Anchor Bay (13-1-4, 5-1-2 MAC Red). Eisenhower is 13-3, 5-2.
Al Willman is a freelance writer; News staff contributed.