Dullack's Docket

The Drive For Five - Five X-Factors for the Baseball and Softball

BaseballSoftball   | Jeff Dullack

State Champs! Sports Network

With the high school baseball and softball state finals set to begin, here are five players who will be X-Factors on Saturday.

 

Andrea Elmore – Farmington Hills Mercy Softball – Elmore hasn’t been nearly as dominant in the past two games as she was to start the postseason, but she will be a key for Mercy on Saturday. If Elmore can limit the Dakota offensive attack, which has averaged over nine runs per game this postseason, there’s a better than good chance the Marlins will win their first Softball State Title in School History.

Kaleigh Whitcomb – Calvin Christian Softball – Whitcomb had a strong performance on Friday as she helped lead hear team to a 4-2 win over Millington, allowing just one earned run, while striking out nine as the Squires advanced to the state finals for the first time since 1994. But Whitcomb will again have to be on top of her game on Saturday if Calvin Christian wants a chance to win the Division 3 title as the sophomore will be opposed by St. Mary Catholic Central junior Meghan Beaubien, arguably the state’s best pitcher over the past two years, who pitched a five-inning perfect game on Friday.

 

Bryce Bush/Jake Badalamenti – Warren De La Salle Baseball – The sophomore duo have delivered crucial hits in the last two games for the Pilots, Bush tallying three hits in a quarterfinal win over U-D and Badalamenti notching a two-RBI hit in Thursday’s Division 1 semifinal win over Traverse City West. Look for more heroics from these sophomores as De La Salle looks for its first state title since 2009.

Jack Shore – Linden Baseball – The ace of the Linden pitching staff, Shore will get the start for the Eagles on the mound as Linden plays in its first state championship game since 2004. Shore has pitched 18 straight scoreless innings entering Saturday and Linden will look for one final dominant performance from their ace against a dangerous Holland Christian team.

Sean O’Keefe – Saline Baseball – O’Keefe only lasted into the third inning in the semifinal win over Hartland, but he could play a big role in Saturday’s state final against De La Salle. If he gets his chance, he could be relied on to limit a De La Salle lineup that is capable of scoring runs in a hurry.