In Play with Tom Markowski

Regina continues torrid play, upsets Ladywood for league title, 3-1

Softball   | Tom Markowski

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Detroit – Livonia Ladywood had Warren Regina’s number during the Catholic League Central Division season. Ladywood won all four matchups and the closest game was a 9-2 rout.

The teams met again on Monday and Regina, a team that has turned its season around the last three weeks, turned the tables on Ladywood and defeated the Blazers 3-1 in the Catholic League A-B Division final at the University of Detroit.

Regina’s last league title came in 2005 when the school was located in Harper Woods.

Marissa Tiano allowed six hits, two walks and struck out seven to notch the victory. Her diving catch with runners on second and third ended the game.

“It was big,” Tiano said of the final out. “I just wanted to get that out.”

Regina (18-13) has won 15 of its last 17 and is playing with confidence. The Saddlelites’ 3-2 victory over Farmington Hills Mercy in the semifinal had a carryover affect.

“It’s a way different team now,” Tiano said. “We’re all playing as a team. When we beat Mercy it was like they beat Ladywood, we can do it, too.”

Regina had a team meeting after the 3-11 start and the players all had an opportunity to say what needed to be said. Coach Diane Laffey said the players knew they were better than what they showed and needed to believe in themselves.

“The players sat down and talked about it,” Laffey said. “I thought they might have a players’ only meeting but they wanted the coaches there to hear what they had to say. We had to play through it.”

Regina sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the third and scored twice. Sydney Spatafore walked to open the inning and scored when Gina Munson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Kristi Carlson singled home Tiano with the second run.

Tiano’s RBI single made it 3-0 in the fourth and she was in a groove on the mound as well. Just two runners reached as far as second before Alexa Flores got the third base in the sixth and scored on a wild pitch.

Ladywood (26-6) threatened in the seventh as Cecilia Werner hit a deep fly that left fielder Spatafore caught at the fence for the second out. With the potential tying runs on Tiano made a fine catch to end it.

Regina left 13 runners on base but Tiano didn’t need many runs in this game.              

Ladywood coach Scott Combs said his team didn’t take the proper approach against Tiano. The Blazers scored 60 runs in four games on Saturday but couldn’t get untracked in this game.          

 “We’ve got to hit early in the count,” he said. “There just weren’t enough adjustments.”

Rozlyn Price went the first 3 1/3 innings, gave up the three runs and took the loss.