Fowlerville vs. DeWitt – – Hall of Fame Softball Classic Final – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 6, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

Tonight, DeWitt and Fowlerville will be playing in the finals of the Hall of Fame Softball Classic. Both of these teams won games against tough opponents to gain their berth in this contest. In fact, both opponents just won their district and will appear in Regional Matchups this Saturday!

The DeWitt Panthers beat the Leslie Blackhawks in this semifinal game. https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2022/06/02/leslie-vs-dewitt-hall-of-fame-softball-classic-semifinal-the-bleacher-denizen-june-2-2022-by-chuck-krafft/

The Fowlerville Gladiators beat the Shamrocks from Portland St. Patrick in this semifinal game. https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2022/06/03/portland-st-patrick-vs-fowlerville-hall-of-fame-softball-classic-semifinal-the-bleacher-denizen-june-2-2022-by-chuck-krafft/

Tonight is special (at least to me) because your Bleacher Denizen will be singing the National Anthem before tonight’s game.

As we wait for the game to start, here is a tune from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel you can enjoy!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3R-ZL9568

Here are the starting lineups.

Fowlerville will bat first and DeWitt will be the home team.

FOWLERVILLE:

Tori Briggs ss

Kennedy Douglass 3b

Halle Dargie p

Ashlee Dailey c

Tommi Kleinschmidt cf

Angelle Haan dp

Katie Bigos 1b

Josie Cruz 2b

Hannah Ray rf

Carlie Atcheson will play left field, but will not bat.

DEWITT:

Natalie Donaldson cf

Corina Hernandez 1b

Kyra Shadduck p

Hannah Grewe 3b

Gabbie Brya 2b

Sunny Pochert c

Kaitlyn Lawver lf

Layla Stone dp

Heather Schmidt ss

Emily Brandell will play right field, but will not bat.

Your Bleacher Denizen sang the National Anthem. After that, Hall of Fame President Bob Every held a brief ceremony to give retiring Michigan State Softball Coach Jackie Joseph a beautiful bouquet of roses before she threw out the official first pitch. (From the press box, it looked like a strike!)

It is now time to review the game through the frequently open and occasionally observant eyes of an aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to play softball or baseball on a school team. Your Bleacher Denizen had some problems understanding basic baseball terminology. Unfortunately, he was not able to learn until it was far too late that we want to steal BASES, not VASES. Thus, after several shoplifting events (and one unfortunately broken Ming Vase), your Bleacher Denizen was never allowed to play on the school team.

Tori Briggs walked to lead off the top of the first inning for Fowlerville. DeWitt Pitcher Kyra Shadduck picked the runner off first base and retired the next two batters on a grounder to the shortstop and a fly to first base to end the inning.

Natalie Donaldson walked to lead off the top of the first inning for DeWitt. Natalie Donaldson advanced to second base on a groundout to the pitcher by Corina Hernandez. Fowlerville First Baseman Katie Bigos alertly fired the ball to second base when the runner rounded it to record the second out of the inning. Kyra Shadduck drew a walk. Maddie Bekkering came in as a courtesy runner for Kyra Shadduck.

Hannah Grewe singled up the middle to send Maddie Bekkering to third base; Hannah Grewe moved up to second base on a throw to third base. Gladiator Pitcher Halle Dargie struck out the next batter to end the inning while holding the Panthers scoreless.

Panther Pitcher Kyra Shadduck retired the Glad (there will be some abbreviating to save some wear and tear on the aging Bleacher Denizen’s typing fingers) second inning leadoff batter on a popup to second base. Tommi Kleinschmidt walked. The runner was out at second and Angelle Haan safe at first on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base. Kyra Shadduck retired the next batter on a grounder to first base to end the inning.

Gladiator Pitcher Halle Dargie retired the three Panther second inning hitters on a grounder to second base and two strikeouts.

The game was scoreless after two innings.

Panther Pitcher Kyra Shadduck retired the three Gladiator third inning hitters on a fly to right field, a fly to shortstop and a grounder to the pitcher.

Halle Dargie struck out the Panther leadoff batter in the top of the third inning. Natalie Donaldson was hit by a pitch. Glad Catcher Ashlee Dailey fired a strike to second base to catch the runner stealing. DeWitt made its third out on a grounder to first base.

Kyra Shadduck retired the three Glad fourth inning hitters on a fly to second base, a grounder to shortstop and a fly to the shortstop.

Halle Dargie got the Panther leadoff batter in the fourth inning on a grounder to shortstop and struck out the next two batters.

After four innings, the game remained a scoreless tie.

Kyra Shadduck struck out the Gladiator leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning. Angelle Haan beat out a squib to the catcher to record Fowlerville’s first hit of the game. Angelle Haan went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Katie Bigos and stole third base. Kyra Shadduck struck out the next hitter to end the inning.

Halle Dargie retired the three Panther hitters in the bottom of the fifth inning on a bouncer to first base, a fly to centerfield and a strikeout.

Hannah Ray led off the top of the sixth inning with a walk for Fowlerville. Kyra Shadduck struck out the next Gladiator batter. Kennedy Douglass singled and Hannah Ray advanced to second base. Kyra Shadduck struck out the next batter. Hannah Ray stole third base. Ashlee Dailey lined a single to center field to drive in Hannah Ray with the game’s first run. Kennedy Douglass advanced to second base. Kyra Shadduck struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Fowlerville scored one run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 1-0 lead.

DeWitt’s sixth inning batter was out when Fowlerville Catcher Ashlee Dailey reacted quickly to a bunt and threw the batter out at first base on a close play. Natalie Donaldson hit a triple to left field. With the tying run on third base and one out, Glad Pitcher Halle Dargie got the next batter out on a fouled bunt popup to third base. The next Panther batter was out on a popup to second base to end the threat.

Kyra Shadduck struck out the Gladiator leadoff batter in the top of the seventh inning and got the next batter out on a bouncer to first base. Josie Cruz lined a single into the outfield. Hannah Ray blasted a double off the centerfield fence to drive in Josie Cruz. Fowlerville made its third out on a fly to right field.

Fowlerville scored one run in the top of the seventh inning to extend its lead to 2-0.

Halle Dargie struck out the DeWitt leadoff batter in the bottom of the seventh inning. Gabbie Brya walked. Sunny Pochert drove a single over the shortstop’s head and Gabbie Brya advanced to second base. Lily Utrup came in to run for Sunny Pochert. Gabbie Brya went to third base and Sunny Pochert to second base on an errant pickoff throw.

A roar went through the stands as Kaitlyn Lawver blasted a ball over the left field fence. When things calmed down, the home run was ruled to be a foul ball. (DeWitt would have won had the ball been ruled fair.) With the tying run on second base and just one out, Halle Dargie got two crucial strikeouts to end the game while stranding the runners.

Fowlerville won the game 2-0 and is the 2022 Hall of Fame Softball Classic Champion!!

Natalie Donaldson had a triple for DeWitt. Hannah Grewe and Sunny Pochert each had a single. Kyra Shadduck pitched a complete game giving up only five hits and two runs. She also struck out six Gladiator hitters.

Ashlee Dailey had a single and the game-winning RBI in the sixth inning for Fowlerville. Hannah Ray scored the game-winning run after she walked; she also had a double and one RBI. Kennedy Douglass, Angelle Haan and Josie Cruz each had a single. Halle Dargie pitched a complete game shutout and gave up only three hits. She struck out ten batters.

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