Unionville-Sebewaing wins Division 4 state championship with 5-0 win over Kalamazoo ChristianSoftball  |
East Lansing – The fourth time was the charm for Unionville-Sebewaing on Saturday afternoon.
After making trips to the state championship game in each of the previous three years and coming up empty handed, USA entered a fourth consecutive title game looking for a state title.
Behind a one-hitter from Nicole Bauer and timely hitting, the Patriots locked up their fourth stat championship, topping Kalamazoo Christian, 5-0.
USA coach Steve Bohn said that after his senior class had come close to winning state titles over the previous three years, he was happy they could earn a state title in their final opportunity.
“State Championships are so rare, it doesn’t matter how you win them,” he said. “For me personally, and the seniors on this team, because they had been there and been there and been there and it just didn’t happen for them. Last year’s team was huge and it just didn’t happen for them. So is it big? Yes.”
After the game began as a pitcher’s duel through the first three innings, USA finally broke through in the fourth on a two-RBI double off the bat of Madison Zimmer to give the Patriots the first lead of the game.
Then in the fifth inning, Bauer helped her own cause as she connected for a two-RBI base-hit of her own to put the Patriots on top 5-0 heading to the sixth inning.
Bauer said that getting the run support made her life much easier as she was able to pitch with the lead going forward.
“So much easier,” she said. “I just wanted to keep it on the infield and make the outs and if they get some, it’s okay, we’ll come back.”
Bauer finished her day in the circle with 11 strikeouts against no walks as she had the Kalamazoo Christian lineup on its heels all afternoon.
“I felt very confident,” she said. “I felt that if I kept it in the field, my players would make the outs for me.”
“It’s exciting, but I’m just glad that I did well for my team, they made all the plays and we did it.”
Bohn said his junior ace was simply overpowering and didn’t give the Comets any opportunities to gain any traction offensively.
“She was overpowering,” said Bohn of Bauer’s effort in the circle. “She basically blew them away. They were just trying to move the ball, then alone hit it. She was hitting her spots, and she had great movement and she always has good movement and she was ready to rock today. She was snapping it really well.”
The lone hit of the game for Kalamazoo Christian came from pitcher Aliyah Lemmer who finished her day in the circle with three strikeouts for the Comets.
Kalamazoo Christian coach Terry Reynolds said he was expecting that his team would have to play extremely well to stay with the Patriots and felt that his young squad did just that.
“They got us a little bit, but I expected that,” he said. “I saw them yesterday and I knew they could swing the bat and we had to play near-perfect to compete and I still think we competed. 5-0 is nothing to be ashamed of, and I think that my girls are young, inexperienced and they did very well.”