Coleman reaches D4 final with 2-0 victory over Rogers City, Centreville's Duchene shuts down USA, 4-0
East Lansing - Hannah Duchene doesn't mind patiently waiting for help from her Centreville teammates.
As usual for the Bulldogs in the state tournament, scoring runs have come in bunches in the late innings, including Friday's 4-0 win over Unionville Sebewaing Area in the Division 4 semifinals at Michigan State. As long as those runs come, Duchene, who threw a four-hitter against the Patriots, said she doesn't feel any additional pressure.
"You would think that," Duchene said of there being pressure in waiting for the Bulldogs to score. "But I don't stress much about that because I have so much confidence in them. We're gonna score runs."
Centreville (35-6) advances to Saturday's 5:30 p.m. final against Coleman (30-9).
Mainly through Duchene's efforts, the Bulldogs nursed a 1-0 lead through six innings until stringing together two singles, two walks, a key wild pitch and an error for three runs in the seventh. Duchene lost a no-hitter with two-out in the fourth, then dodged threats in the fifth and sixth innings, including leaving three runners in scoring position.
"(Duchene) fights through and shows tenacity; she's consistent," Centreville coach Scott Logan said. "It's exciting. We've scored most of our runs later in the game."
Centreville's McKenzie Sheteron singled and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning. Joanna Larsen singled in a run in the three-run seventh.
Duchene was helped by a solid defense, including right fielder Morgan Walton who threw out the potential tying run at third in the sixth inning.
Duchene walked four and struck out eight.
"Everyone on the team knows their role and my role is producing ground ball and pop fiies and relying on my defense," Duchene said. "I've pretty much been doing that. I feel very confident with my teammates behind me."
USA (31-9) was bidding to become the only team in Division 4 to win three state titles in four years. The program has won 15 consecutive regionals and was making its 12th semifinal appearance in 13 years.
Coleman's Autumn Tubbs had been down this road before without the hoped for results. This time, Tubbs delivered the clutch hit in the Comets' 2-0 win over Rogers City (32-6) in Friday's Division 4 semifinal at Michigan State. The senior shortstop fisted a one-out, bases loaded single into short left field in the sixth to send the Comets into the title game.
The win represents one step farther than last year when the Comets fell to Ottawa Lake Whiteford in the semifinals. Tubbs said her teammates have waited a year to get past that loss.
"We were in this position last year with runners on base and it was up to me this time," said Tubbs, who took a .467 average and 41 RBI into the game. "I was just trying to put the bat on the ball. It's just another game, another at-bat. But it feels special that I was the one to drive in the runs and get us hyped up."
Faith Barden scattered three hits to pick up the win. She struck out 11 and walked only two. Coleman finished with six hits, including two by Barden.
Coleman's last finals appearance was in 2005 when it beat Muskegon Catholic Central.