Softball districts: L’Anse Creuse vs. Anchor Bay is power vs. power

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Brooke Nadolny

It will be power versus power when Brooke Nadolny and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse take on Anchor Bay in a Division 1 district semifinal Friday at noon at Anchor Bay.

Nadolny holds the state record for home runs in a season (26, 2018) and a career (72). She is hitting .643 with 18 homers and 53 RBI this season, and has also become the ace of the staff as a senior, going 22-3 (220 strikeouts) with a 2.00 ERA to help L’Anse Creuse to a 26-5 record, earning the MAC White championship with a 12-0 record.

“Anchor Bay is a very good team,” L’Anse Creuse coach Lisa Downey said. “They are a very good hitting team.”

Anchor Bay (23-10) has already slugged 62 home runs to break Romeo’s single-season record of 59 (35 games, 2015). Howell has hit 60 home runs this season.

And, Anchor Bay has junior Taylor Keighley, who is trying to top Nadolny’s single-season record of a year ago. She has 21 home runs with 58 RBI and a .480 average after hitting just six as a sophomore. She is 16-4 on the mound with a 3.50 ERA, clocking upwards of 60 mph.

Sophomore catcher Amanda Schick, a Bowling Green commit, is hitting .460 with 11 home runs, and the senior outfield trio of center fielder Jenna Casey (8), right fielder Jenna Cantalupo (8) and left fielder Kelly Tatum (7) have combined to hit 23 homers.

“We’re having a good season, just trying to be more consistent,” said Anchor Bay coach Mike Downey, whose team finished third in the MAC Red, splitting with both division champion Romeo and second-place Macomb Dakota. “Our hitting is our strength.

Anchor Bay advanced to the regionals last year, losing to Warren Regina.

Downey is impressed with L’Anse Creuse.

“They are very good, a well-coached team who has one of the top two or three players in the state in Brooke Nadolny, so it will be a challenge for us and hopefully we’ll be up to the challenge,” Downey said.

Howell, which lost to rival Hartland 6-4 in the state semifinals last year, plays Dexter in a district semifinal Saturday at noon at Ann Arbor Skyline.

In addition to those 60 home runs, Howell – 29-3 and ranked No. 2 – is hitting .460 as a team while averaging 12 runs. Notre Dame-bound pitcher Molly Carney is 21-2 with a 0.81 ERA, striking out 197 while walking 27.

Sophomore Avrey Wolverton is hitting .531 with a team-high 17 home runs and 57 RBI, with Maddie Gillett at .581 with 16 homers and a team-high 61 RBI and AJ Militello (Utah) at .587 with 15 homers and 53 RBI.

“It’s just a result of the hard work these kids put in all year round,” said Howell Coach Ron Pezzoni of the team’s hitting. “It’s a pretty scary lineup when things are clicking.”