Pitcher Marisa Muglia talks about Warren Regina's 11-5 victory over Garden City. The Detroit News
Detroit — Warren Regina's Mia Konyvka was intent on making sure Garden City would pay for its strategy.
Konyvka, a sophomore first baseman, watched as pitcher Marisa Muglia was intentionally walked in the third inning, loading the bases with one out to get to Konyvka.
Konyvka did make Garden City pay. Konvyka blasted a grand slam and changed the complexion of Regina’s 11-5 Division 1 state quarterfinal victory Tuesday at Wayne State.
Konyvka’s bomb tied the game at 5 and drained whatever momentum Garden City had built the inning before when it took a 5-0 lead.
“I saw a meatball and I just wanted to take advantage of it,” Konyvka said. “They put Marisa on and I knew that was a big mistake and I just needed to do one for my team.”
Regina (28-11) was a different team once it tied the game. Regina defeated Garden City in the quarterfinals last season, as well, and its veteran roster was ready to take over.
“Once we tied it up, then I was pretty confident we’d be OK,” Regina coach Diane Laffey said. “I didn’t think we’d have another inning like that second inning.”
Garden City (27-7) took advantage of Regina’s sloppiness that inning, with a hit batter, two errors, some bad throws and timely hits leading to those five runs.
“Out of character for us,” Laffey said of the second inning. “But it happens. When you hit people and put people on base and somebody throws a bunt away and bobbles another all, and we didn’t make good choices (on throws), well, it’s not what we’ve been doing all year.
“But it happens. They’re kids. It’s going to happen.”
Muglia was frustrated more than rattled, but settled down after the inning and eventually wound up striking 13 hitters.
Muglia retired the last nine Garden City hitters consecutively, and 17 of the last 19 hitters she faced. She struck out the last three hitters in the second inning, after the damage had been done, dialing in for the rest of the game.
“It was frustrating because every time I looked at the scoreboard (in the second inning) there were zero outs,” Muglia said. “I was a little frustrated but I needed to keep calm and keep it going.”
Garden City coach Barry Patterson felt the inability to put more balls in play against Muglia was the difference.
“We just haven’t seen a lot of that type of pitching,” Patterson said. “In order to hit that kind of pitching, you have to see it on a more regular basis and we didn’t see enough of it. We came out strong and I thought maybe we could ride that momentum, but they’re a very good team, they’re poised, and they didn’t get shaken.
"We have four freshmen and two sophomores. We have a young team. We played them well early but just couldn't sustain it. We're looking forward to coming back next year."
Regina plays in the Division 1 semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at Michigan State against Bay City Western, a 4-1 winner over Lowell.
“I know nothing except they have been ranked in the top 10 all year,” Laffey said of Western. “They have to be pretty good.
“We need to refocus after today. That’s the bottom line. Definitely have to refocus because this was a little sloppy.”
Bay City Western 4, Lowell, 1
Clarkston 11, Hartland 3
Warren Regina 11, Garden City 5
Eaton Rapids 2, Ida 0
Escanaba 2, Freeland 0
Stevensville Lakeshore 3, Spring Lake 1
Dundee 8, Riverview Gabriel Richard 3
Millington 11, Marine City 0
Schoolcraft 14, Grandville Calvin Christian 6
Standish-Sterling 2, Negaunee 1
Coleman 10, Holton 0 (6 inn.)
Kalamazoo Christian 11, Hudson 1 (5 inn.)
Rogers City 2, Rudyard 1
Unionville-Sebewaing 13, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 0
All games at Secchia Stadium, MSU
Warren Regina vs. Bay City Western, 3 p.m.
Howell vs. Clarkston, 5:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
North Branch vs. Escanaba, 12:30 p.m.
Stevensville Lakeshore vs. Eaton Rapids, 10 a.m.
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.
Schoolcraft vs. Dundee, 3 p.m.
Millington vs. Standish-Sterling, 5:30 p.m.
Final: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Unionville-Sebewaing vs. Rogers City, 12:30 p.m.
Coleman vs. Kalamazoo Christian, 10 a.m.
Final: Saturday, 3 p.m.