Essexville Garber vs. Trenton – – MHSAA Division 2 Softball Semifinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 15, 2022 – – by Chuck Krafft

The Dukes from Essexville Garber will be meeting the Trojans from Trenton in the first Division 2 semifinal of the day. Garber brings a 35-8 record into the game and is rated #8.

Per the MHSAA Second Half publication, Alexis Linton has a .432 batting average with 36 RBI and 26 stolen bases. When Sarah Basket hits, she has a .468 average with 20 doubles and 46 RBI. When Sarah Basket pitches, she is 22-4 with 1.87 ERA and 242 strikeouts. Kortney Kotenko has a .527 batting average to go along with 11 home runs and 53 RBI. Lauren Claerhout is hitting .462 with 12 doubles.

Trenton is an Honorable Mention team with a 32-10 record.

Annika Segedi has a .522 batting average and 25 stolen bases. Olivia Hickman hits .465 and has 20 doubles to go along with 49 RBI. London Williams is batting .523 with 18 doubles, 57 RBI and 12 stolen bases. London Williams also contributes as a pitcher and has a 6-0 record with a 2.15 ERA. Pitcher Aila Johnson is 21-9 with 1 2.47 ERA and 160 strikeouts.

While we are waiting for the teams to warm up, here is an old piano tune from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvrOo-TYs-E

Here are the starting lineups. Trenton will bat first and Garber will be the home team.

TRENTON

Annika Segedi 2b

Gracie Rickman 3b

London Williams ss

Olivia Hickman c

Molly Edwards lf

Kendyl Gearhart 1b

Aleah Tanguay cf

Analy Guth dp

Maddie Dobbs rf

Aila Johnson will pitch, but will not bat.

GARBER:

Alexis Linton ss

Lauren Claerhout cf

Kortney Kotenko c

Ella Wagner 1b

Sarah Basket p

Emma Miller 3b

Laney Kokaly 2b

Jacqueline Brinkman lf

Addison Lebrun dp

Josie Killey will play right field, but will not bat.

It is now time to review the events of this game through the aging eyes of an ancient Bleacher Denizen who had extremely limited success in the days of yore when he attempted to play baseball. Baseball terminology was a big problem. Your Bleacher Denizen never figured out that we steal BASES in baseball and softball, not VASES. After about four shoplifting arrests and an unfortunate incident that resulted in a smashed priceless Ming Vase, your Bleacher Denizen was not allowed to be on the team.

In the top of the first inning, Garber Pitcher Sarah Basket retired the three Trenton hitters on a short fly to center where Lauren Claerhout made a nice running catch and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first inning, Trojan Pitcher Aila Johnson retired the Duke leadoff batter on a bouncer to second base. Lauren Claerhout beautifully placed a bunt down the third baseline that refused to roll foul. She beat it out for a single. Kortney Kotenko blasted a double almost to the centerfield fence to drive in Lauren Claerhout. Emma Dufrense entered the game as a courtesy runner.

Aila Johnson retired the next two batters on a fly to right field and a strikeout.

Essexville Garber scored one run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.

Trenton’s three second inning hitters were out on a bouncer to third base, a strikeout and a fly to center field.

In the bottom of the second inning, Trojan Rightfielder Maddie Dobbs made a nice running catch in foul territory to retire the Duke leadoff batter. Garber made the next two outs on a fly to the shortstop and a popup to first base.

Garber second baseman made a nice running catch of a foul popup to right field to retire Trenton’s third inning leadoff batter. Garber Pitcher Sara Basket retired the next two hitters on a strikeout and a fly to right field.

Trojan Pitcher Aila Johnson retired the Duke third inning leadoff batter on a bunt to third base and struck out the next hitter. Trenton Shortstop London Williams reacted quickly to go back to catch a soft fly to prevent a single by Lauren Claerhout and retire the side.

After three full innings, the Essexville Garber lead remained at 1-0.

In the top of the fourth inning, Trenton leadoff batter Annika Segedi punched a single up the middle. Lauren Claerhout made a nice catch in centerfield to retire the next batter. She quickly got the ball back to first base to double off the runner who had made it to third base. The Trojans made their third out on a popup to first base.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Kortney Kotenko led off for Garber by drawing a walk. Emma Dufrense entered the game as a courtesy runner for Kortney Kotenko. The next batter bunted a fly to third base for the first out. Trenton Shortstop London Miller made a nice running catch of a soft fly ball to record the second out. Emma Dufrense stole second base. Garber made its third out on a fly to center field.

Olivia Hickman grounded a single to center field to lead off the top of the fifth inning for Trenton. Jordyn Emery entered the game as a courtesy runner for Olivia Hickman. Jordyn Emery advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Molly Edmunds. Sarah Basket struck out the next Trojan hitter. Jordyn Emery scored when Aleah Tanguay was safe at first on an error. The next Trojan batter was out on a fly to centerfield to end the inning.

Trenton scored one run in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 1-1.

Alia Johnson struck out Garber’s leadoff batter in the bottom of the fifth inning. Trojan Center Aleah Tanguay made a valiant effort to snag a fly off the bat of Jacqueline Brinkman, but it fell for a single. Mia Meylan came in to pinch run for Jacqueline Brinkman. Mia Meylan advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Addison Lebrun. Alia Johnson retired the next batter on a fly to second base to end the inning.

Garber Second Baseman Laney Kokaly made a great diving effort to stop a grounder by Pinch Hitter Anica Allstead, but she reached first base safely for a leadoff single. Maddie Dobbs reentered the game to run for Anica Allstead. Maddie Dobbs went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Annika Segedi and took third on a sacrifice bunt by Gracie Rickman. London Williams lined a single down the left field line to drive in Maddie Dobbs with the go-ahead run. Olivia Hickman singled to left field and London Williams took second base.

Jordyn Emery entered the game as a courtesy runner for Olivia Hickman. Sarah Basket struck out the next Trenton batter to end the inning.

Trenton scored one run in the top of the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead.

Trenton Pitcher Alia Johnson retired the three Garber hitters in the bottom of the sixth inning on a popup to the shortstop, a liner to the pitcher and a liner to the shortstop.

Sarah Basket struck out the first two Trojan hitters in the top of the seventh inning. Pinch Hitter Maddie Howe worked her way to a 3-0 count before Sarah Basket struck her out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Garber leadoff hitter Sarah Basket hit a vicious liner off the first baseman’s glove for a single. Grace Zwetzig entered the game as a courtesy runner for Sarah Basket. Trenton Right Fielder Maddie Dobbs made a fantastic running catch of a bid for a single by Emma Miller to record the first Garber out of the inning.

Laney Kokaly was safe at first and the runner out at second on a fielder’s choice grounder to third base. Jacqueline Brinkman was hit by a pitch; Laney Kokaly advanced to second base. Izy Lathrom entered the game as a pinch runner for Jacqueline Brinkman. Laney Kokaly and Izy Lathrom executed a double steal to advance to third base and second base. Alia Johnson struck out pinch hitter Jaelynn Shooltz to end the game.

Trenton won the game 2-1 and will face the winner of the other semifinal between Escanaba and Stevensville Lakeshore in the final game.

Kortney Kotenko had a double and one RBI for Garber. Lauren Claerhout, Sarah Basket and Jacqueline Brinkman each had a single. Sarah Basket pitched the complete game giving up only one earned run and five hits. She struck out nine Trojan batters.

Olivia Hickman had two singles for Trenton. London Williams had a single and one RBI. Annika Segedi and Anica Allstead each had one single.

Aila Johnson pitched the complete game for Trenton. She gave up only one run and four hits. She struck out four Duke batters.

I also covered the second semifinal between Stevensville Lakeshore and Escanaba. Here is a link to that game!
https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2022/06/16/escanaba-vs-stevensville-lakeshore-mhsaa-division-2-softball-semifinal-the-bleacher-denizen-june-16-2022-by-chuck-krafft/

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