Division 3 softball: Schoolcraft reaches first title game on dramatic infield hit; Millington also advances
East Lansing — With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, game tied, Schoolcraft hitter Allie Goldschmeding had only one thought when she hit a little nubber toward second base.
Run. Run fast.
“I have to run hard as I can and get to the base,” Goldschmeding said.
Goldschmeding did, just beating the throw — barely — from pitcher McKenna Schmidt out of Schmidt’s glove to first baseman Ashley Fietz, and giving Schoolcraft a dramatic 4-3 victory Friday, Kayla Onken scoring the winning run.
“It was pretty close,” Goldschmeding said. “It feels amazing. I just felt, like, with the bases loaded and two out, I could deliver for my team and get them to the state championship.”
Schoolcraft (32-4) will make its first appearance in the Division 3 finals Saturday at Michigan State.
“It’s amazing,” Schoolcraft coach Shane Barry said. “We’ve been working for this all year. It’s amazing.”
Barry was concentrating on Onken running toward home plate on the winning play.
“But it was close,” Barry said of the play at first base. “We’ll take it for sure. First time being in the state tournament. We’ll definitely take that call all day.”
Especially after a close baserunning call went against Schoolcraft earlier in the game to stall a potential rally.
“That was not a close one,” Barry said. “You can’t help what they call. It worked out for us.”
Dundee (33-10) had a 3-0 lead through 4 1/2 innings, but left five runners stranded in the first two innings and felt as bad about that as it did about the call at first base.
“We had plenty of opportunities to score and we didn’t do it,” Dundee coach Mickey Moody said. “But to lose like that, it does sting a little bit. Not too happy about that.”
The play at first base was right in front of the Dundee dugout.
“She was out in my opinion,” Moody said. “She was out. The umpire saw it another way. They aren’t going to reverse it so it is what it is. Things happen. We had chances to score the first two innings and we did not do that.
“We probably should been up seven runs in the first two innings to be honest with you.”
The hit that got Schoolcraft back in the game was a tying, two-home run by Kelby Goldschmeding in the sixth inning.
Kelby is Allie’s twin sister, and it was Kelby’s team-leading 10th home run of the season, making the score 3-3.
“She’s coming off injury and all she can do right now is bat and run,” Barry said of his designated hitter. “It was perfect timing for us. We needed it, it finally fired up the girls. We were a little down there for a while.”
Allie noted there was no added pressure to deliver a big hit in the eighth inning after Kelby had come through in the sixth.
“We’re very supportive of each other,” Allie Goldschmeding said. “We just cheer for each other.”
Millington 7, Standish-Sterling 1
Leah Denome and Madi Hahn each had three hits, and pitcher Gabbie Sherman struck out nine hitters as Millington defeated Standish-Sterling 7-1 in a Division 3 semifinal.
Millington (37-2-1) will play Schoolcraft in the Division 3 championship Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Sherman allowed five hits and didn’t walk anyone, while striking out nine over seven innings. Sherman also had two hits and drove in a run, helping her own cause.
Millington had 14 hits, and Denome and Hahn led the balanced attack.
Hahn’s RBI double in the fourth inning opened the scoring.
Denome’s home run gave Millington a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
Taylor Stodolak’s RBI triple for Standish-Stering (31-5) in the bottom of the fifth cut the Millington lead to 3-1.
But Millington responded with three runs in the top of the seventh to break the game open, with Sherman and Hannah Rabideau contributing run-scoring hits.
All games at Secchia Stadium, Michigan State, East Lansing
Warren Regina 4, Bay City Western 0
Howell 9, Clarkston 6
Final: Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Escanaba 2, North Branch 1
Stevensville Lakeshore 8, Eaton Rapids 1
Final: Saturday, 10 a.m.
Schoolcraft 4, Dundee 3, 8 innings
Millington 7, Standish-Sterling 1
Final: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Unionville-Sebewaing 8, Rogers City 3
Kalamazoo Christian 6, Coleman 1
Final: Saturday, 3 p.m.