Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart vs. Breckenridge – – MHSAA Softball Regional Final – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 11, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

After watching Sacred Heart win this semifinal game, it’s time to watch the Regional Final! Here is a link to the play by play of the semifinal game!
https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2022/06/11/portland-st-patrick-vs-mt-pleasant-sacred-heart-mhsaa-regional-softball-semifinal-the-bleacher-denizen-june-11-2022-by-chuck-krafft/

I was not able to get here for the day’s first game. Breckenridge beat Alcona 11-1 to advance to the regional final.

While the teams are warming up, we can enjoy this original tune from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3R-ZL9568

This game features the Irish from Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart facing the Huskies from Breckenridge. Both teams are part of the Mid State Activities Conference. Kudos to the MSAC for putting two teams in the softball regional final!

A flip of the coin has determined that Breckenridge will bat first while Sacred Heart will be the home team. Here are the starting lineups.

BRECKENRIDGE:

Carisa Smith cf

Megan Goward ss

Morgan Westall p

Kara Whiting c

Laine Sumner rf

Emma Tinson dp

Miranda Rohde 2b

Blair Davenport 3b

Tori Most lf

Lily St. John will play first base, but will not bat.

SACRED HEART:

Ellery Garver 1b

Kelsey McDonald 2b

Laura Goenner cf

Anna Terwilliger ss

Nyah Carson dp

Kallie Smith 3b

Natalie Jones p

Emma Yonker lf

Eliza Pieratt c

Alexys Zeien will play right field, but will not bat.

It is now time to review the events of this game through the semi-open eyes of an Aging Bleacher Denizen who was never able to make the baseball team when he attempted to play in the days of yore. Alas, he had some trouble with basic baseball terminology. It was way too late when the Bleacher Denizen finally realized that in baseball and softball, we steal BASES, not VASES.

By the time the Bleacher Denizen fully realized this, he was permanently removed from the school team after four shoplifting arrests. (There was also an unfortunate shattering of a priceless Ming Vase that factored into this.) Live and (hopefully) learn!!!

Sacred Heart Pitcher Natalie Jones struck out the first two Huskie batters to open the top of the first inning. Morgan Westall dropped a fly over the third baseman’s head for a single. Julia Rowe came in to pinch run for the Huskies. The next hitter was out on a fly to right field to end the inning.

Ellery Garver beat out a bunt single to lead off the bottom of the first inning for the Irish. She stole second base and took third base with one out on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey McDonald. Morgan Westall struck out the next two Sacred Heart batters to end the threat and the inning.

In the top of the second inning. Natalie Jones struck out the first two Huskie batters and got the third out on a fly to second base.

Morgan Westall struck out the first two Irish hitters in the bottom of the second inning. Natalie Jones grounded a single down the first baseline. Jenna Morrison entered the game as a courtesy runner for Natalie Jones. Morgan Westall struck out the next batter to end the inning.

After two full innings, the game was scoreless.

In the top of the third inning, Natalie Jones retired the three Breckenridge hitters on a strikeout, a grounder to first base and a fly to right field.

Morgan Westall struck out the three Irish hitters in the bottom of the third inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, Natalie Jones got the three Huskie batters out on a bunted grounder to first base, a line drive to the shortstop and a strikeout.

Morgan Westall struck out the first two Sacred Heart hitters in the bottom of th fourth inning. Nyah Carson singled to centerfield and stole second base. Morgan Westall struck out the next batter to end the inning.

After four innings, the score was 0-0.

Natalie Jones got the first two Breckenridge batters in the top of the fifth inning out on a foul fly to first base and a strikeout. Miranda Rhode drew a walk. Natalie Jones retired the next batter on a bouncer to third base to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Morgan Westall retired the three Sacred Heart batters on a foul popup to first base, a grounder to second base and a strikeout.

Natalie Jones got the three Breckenridge sixth inning batters out on a fly to right field and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Morgan Westall struck out the first two Irish hitters. Laura Goenner bounced a double off the left field fence and stole third base. Morgan Westall struck out the next batter to end the inning.

The game remained scoreless after six innings.

Natalie Jones retired the first two Huskie batters in the top of the seventh inning on a fly to second base and fly to right field. Laine Sumner walked and took second base when Emma Tinson was safe at first on an error. Natalie Jones struck out the next batter to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Huskie Left Fielder Tori Most had to react quickly to snag a hot liner off the bat of Nyah Carson. Morgan Westall struck out the next hitter and got the third out on a grounder to third base to end the inning.

After the seven regulation innings have been played, these two teams are still locked in this exciting pitchers’ duel tied at 0-0!!

Natalie Jones struck out the three Huskie hitters in the top of the eighth inning.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Irish leadoff hitter Emma Yonker was safe at first on an error. Kate Liscomb came in to pinch run. Kate Liscomb went all the way to third base when Eliza Pieratt was safe at first on an error on an attempted sacrifice bunt. Ellery Garver was intentionally walked to load the bases. Kelsey McDonald blooped a single past the third baseman and shortstop to drive in Kate Liscomb with the game’s winning run.

Sacred Heart won the game 1-0 in eight innings and will advance to the quarterfinal against Onekama this Thursday.

Morgan Westall had a single for Breckenridge. She was masterful in the pitcher’s circle. She pitched a shutout game for the regulation seven innings and it took two errors in the eighth inning to allow Sacred Heart to score a run. During the game, she struck out a whopping sixteen batters. What a pitching performance!!!

Laura Goenner had a double for Sacred Heart. Kelsey McDonald had a single and one RBI. Ellery Garver, Nyah Carson and Natalie Jones each had a single.

As with Breckenridge, the big story for Sacred Heart in this game was pitching. Natalie Jones had a huge performance for the Irish. She pitched eight innings of shutout baseball and gave up only one hit. She also struck out thirteen batters.

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