East Lansing — How good was it to be heading back to the state championship game?
All you had to do was look at the Ida Bluestreaks’ team, parents, coaching staff, and see the pure joy.
Thursday’s 3-2 victory over Stevensville Lakeshore (33-7-1) put Ida (36-7) into the Division 2 finals Saturday against Richmond, something the Bluestreaks have been craving.
“I’ve been playing with these girls since I was 8 years old,” said left fielder Karlee Lambert, who had two triples and scored the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning. “There’s nothing better than knowing this is the final game (coming up).
“We actually made it. Not many people thought we would, but here we are.”
This will be Ida’s first state championship appearance since 2006, when it lost to Unionville-Sebewaing in the Division 3 finals.
“It never gets old,” said Dawn Forter, the Ida coach then and now “This is what you play for, what you practice all year for, this is what they started out wanting when they were kids.
“Look at their parents, they wanted the same thing. Now, here we are.”
Ida pitcher Lauren Kreps scattered five hits, with one earned run, while walking two and striking out one.
Lakeshore first baseman Olivia Freehling had an RBI single in the first inning, and pushed across a run on a throwing error in the seventh.
“It wasn’t easy and we knew it wasn’t going to be,” Forter said. “We heard nothing but great things about them, but once you get to this point, there’s nobody you’re going to walk over.
“It’s not going to happen.”
Grandville 2, Clarkston 1
Macomb Dakota 6, Mattawan 3
Final: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Richmond 4, Escanaba 2
Ida 3, Stevensville Lakeshore 2
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.
Monroe St. Mary C.C. vs. Shepherd, 3 p.m.
Gladstone vs. Napoleon, 5:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Indian River Inland Lakes, 10 a.m.
Ottawa Lake Whiteford vs. Coleman, 12:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 3 p.m.