East Lansing – The thing that was the most disappointing to the Dearborn Divine Child Falcons was that they didn’t play their best.
Not even close, and for Divine Child coach Regina Dunn, that was more disappointing than the end result, a 14-0, five-inning, loss to South Haven in the Division 2 state semifinals on Thursday.
“They (South Haven) consistently did what we always want to do -- win every inning,” Dunn said. “They plowed through every inning, they had pitching, and they went through their lineup and put the ball in play.
“I wish we could have played our best game."
South Haven (32-8) scored four runs in the first inning, one in the second, three in the third, and essentially finished things with six runs in the fourth to put the mercy rule in play.
Rams pitcher Hayley Kreiger allowed only one DC (22-10) hit over five innings, walking none and striking out two.
Having defeated Stevensville-Lakeshore (No. 1 ranked) and Spring Lake (No. 2) the last two games in tight, close battles, Kreiger appreciated the early offense.
“It’s so relaxing on the mound,” said Kreiger, who added a hit and three RBI. “Those games (Lakeshore, Spring Lake) were super stressful, so getting four runs, it’s a lot of weight off my shoulders, and knowing the team I had behind me, it couldn’t have gotten much better.”
Hayley Mines had a bases-clearing double for the Rams in the first inning and had three hits and three RBI, while South Haven had 10 hits for the afternoon and was helped by eight DC walks.
“Everyone can play a lot better when you’re up four runs,” said Rams coach Wilma Wilson of the first-inning explosion. “We’ve had the potential all year and we’ve played up and down. When you get to the state tournament things have to happen for you, and we’ve come together as a team.”
Saturday’s appearance in the Division 2 championship will be South Haven’s first since 1979.
“We come from a real strong softball corner of Michigan, and we’ve lost a lot of regional finals to a lot of state champions,” Wilson said. “I’m not ashamed of that at all. But this year we were able to break through and to continue to the finals. I’m very happy for the kids.”
All semifinals and finals at MSU
Caledonia 1, Warren Regina 0
Hartland 6, Howell 4
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.
South Haven 14, Dearborn Divine Child 0 (5 innings)
Escanaba 2, Eaton Rapids 0
Final: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Sanford Meridian vs. Millington, 10 a.m.
Clinton vs. Coloma, 12:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 3 p.m.
Rogers City vs. Coleman, 3 p.m.
Unionville-Sebewaing vs. Centreville, 5:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.