Laingsburg vs. Ottawa Lake Whiteford – – MHSAA Softball Semifinal – – The Bleacher Denizen – – June 16, 2023 – – by Chuck Krafft
In the last softball semifinal of the day, the Bobcats of Ottawa Lake Whiteford will take on the Wolfpack from Laingsburg. Today’s winner will play Standish-Sterling in Saturday’s final game.
While we wait for this game to begin, I hope you will enjoy this Boogie Woogie tune from my You Tube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1MxOus8t44
Ottawa Lake Whiteford enters this game with a 36-4 record and the Bobcats have an Honorable Mention Ranking in Division 3. Here are some of their top players per the MHSAA Preview.
Shaylin Alexander is batting .462 with 17 stolen bases. Unity Nelson has a .337 batting average with 32 RBI. She also pitches and has a 21-0 record with a glittering 0.43 ERA. She has struck out 277 batters in 131.6 innings. Alyssa VanBrandt has a stellar .629 average with 10 triples and 35 stolen bases. Patrina Marsh is batting .394 with 10 doubles and 31 RBI.
Kaydence Sheldon is hitting .392 with 38 RBI. Karlei Conard is hitting .337 with 10 doubles and 33 RBI. Karlei Conard also pitches and has a 14-4 record with a 2.44 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 77.3 innings.
The Laingsburg Wolfpack has a 36-6 record and is rated Number 7 in Division 3. Here are some of their top players.
Ashley Bila has a .518 batting average with 10 doubles, 25 RBI and 42 stolen bases. Haley Konieczny is batting .400 with 38 RBI. Addyson Buchin is batting .390 with 14 doubles and 46 RBI. Addyson Buchin is also the team’s main pitcher and has a 34-5 record with a 1.356 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 206.3 innings. Savanna Stirm has a .434 average with 42 RBI.
Bella Latuszek is hitting .393 with 11 doubles and 53 RBI. Harper Strouse is hitting .346 with 35 RBI and Ella Merrell has a .337 batting average.
Here are the starting lineups.
Ashley Bila ss
Bella Latuszek 2b
Addyson Buchin p
Savannah Stirm 1b
Haley Konieczny rf
Ellie Baynes 3b
Harper Strouse c
Alaina Asher lf
Ella Merrell cf
OTTAWA LAKE WHITEFORD BOBCATS:
Alyssa VanBrandt ss
Shaylin Alexander 2b
Kaydence Sheldon c
Patrina Marsh cf
Karlei Conard 3b
Allison Spradling 1b
Unity Nelson p
Jillian Webb lf
Jessica Ulery rf
It is now time to review the events of this game through the eyes of a doddering Bleacher Denizen whose baseball career never went anywhere after the powers that be refused to allow him to use a catapult to help him throw the ball. (Sometimes it took FOREVER to run a ball in from the warning track so he could hand it to an infielder.)
Ashley Bila led off the game for Laingsburg by drawing a walk; she stole second base. The next Wolfpack hitter was out on a nice running catch by Bobcat Center Fielder Patrina Marsh. Ashley Bila went to third base on an overthrow. Whiteford Pitcher Unity Nelson retired the next two hitters on a fly to second base and a grounder to second base to end the inning while holding the Wolfpack scoreless.
Laingsburg Pitcher Addyson Buchin struck out the Whiteford leadoff batter in the bottom of the first inning. Shaylin Alexander drew a walk. Addyson Buchin struck out the next Bobcat hitter; on strike three, Shaylin Alexander stole second base. Wolfpack Shortstop Ashley Bila made a nice running catch of a soft fly to record the third Bobcat out.
In the top of the second inning, Whiteford Pitcher Unity Nelson retired the three Laingsburg batters on a groundout to the shortstop and two strikeouts.
Addyson Buchin retired the three Bobcat hitters in the bottom of the second inning on two strikeouts and a bouncer to second base.
After two full innings, the score was 0-0.
Unity Nelson retired the first two Wolfpack hitters in the top of the third inning on a foul fly to third base and a bunted fly to the pitcher’s circle. Alaina Asher lined a single up the middle and took second base when interference was ruled as she rounded first base. The scorer ruled this to be a double. Your Aging Bleacher Denizen learns something new every day. (Maybe) Laingsburg made its third out on a grounder to second base.
Jillian Webb led off the top of the third inning for Whiteford and was safe on an error. Jillian Webb was out at second and Alyssa VanBrandt safe at first on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base. Alyssa VanBrandt stole second base. Shaylin Alexander walked. Kaydence Sheldon grounded a single to left field to drive in Alyssa VanBrandt. Shaylin Alexander advanced to third base on the play. Kaydence Sheldon stole second base.
Patrina Marsh lined a single to left field to drive in Shaylin Alexander and Kaydence Sheldon. Wolfpack Left Fielder Alaina Asher was able to quickly throw the ball to Shortstop Ashley Bila, who relayed the ball to Second Baseman Bella Latuszek, who tagged Patrina Marsh out at second base when she tried to stretch her single into a double for the third out.
Whiteford scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead.
Addyson Buchin singled to left field to lead off the top of the fourth inning for Laingsburg. Makenna Johnston entered the game as a courtesy runner for Addyson Buchin. Makenna Johnston took second base when Savannah Stirm was safe at first base on an error. Unity Nelson struck out the next three Wolfpack batters to end the inning.
Whiteford made its first out in the bottom of the fourth inning on a grounder to the pitcher. Allison Spradling singled to right field and took second base when Unity Nelson singled to right field. Alyssa Ulery came in as a courtesy runner for Unity Nelson. Laingsburg Right Fielder Haley Konieczny made a nice running catch of a drive to right field by Jillian Webb to record the second Bobcat out of the inning.
Allison Spradling went to third base and Alyssa Ulery to second base on a wild pitch. Addyson Buchin got the next batter on a fielder’s choice grounder to the pitcher to end the inning.
Unity Nelson retired the three Wolfpack hitters in the top of the fifth inning on two strikeouts and a fly to left field where Jillian Webb made a great running catch of a drive down the left field line by Ashley Bila.
Alyssa VanBrandt singled to left field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning for the Bobcats and stole second base. Shaylin Alexander was hit by a pitch. Kaydence Sheldon singled to deep left field to drive in Alyssa VanBrandt. Shaylin Alexander went to second base; Shaylin Alexander went to third base and Kaydence Sheldon took second on the throw home. Mackenzie Ulery entered the game as a courtesy runner for Kaydence Sheldon.
Addyson Buchin struck out the next Bobcat hitter. Karlei Conard singled to right field to drive in Shaylin Alexander and Mackenzie Ulery. Addyson Buchin retired the next two Whiteford batters on a strikeout and a fly to the shortstop to end the inning.
Whiteford scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead.
Whiteford Pitcher Unity Nelson retired the Wolfpack leadoff batter in the sixth inning on a grounder to the shortstop. Addyson Buchin drew a walk and Makenna Johnston entered the game as a courtesy runner. Makenna Johnston advanced to second base on a groundout to the shortstop by Savanna Stirm. Unity Nelson struck out the next Wolfpack hitter to end the inning.
Pinch Hitter Koralynn Billau singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bobcats. Alyssa Ulery came in to pinch run for Koralynn Billau. Alyssa Ulery advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt to third base by Jessica Ulery and advanced to third base on a groundout to second base by Alyssa VanBrandt. Alyssa Ulery scored when Shaylin Alexander was safe at first on an error.
Shaylin Alexander stole second base and scored when Kaydence Sheldon lined a single to center field. Mackenzie Ulery entered the game as a courtesy runner for Kaydence Sheldon. Patrina Marsh hit a double that landed on the left field line and Mackenzie Ulery advanced to third base. Karlei Conard walked to load the bases. Wolfpack Shortstop Ashley Bila made a nice running catch of a soft line drive to record the third out.
Whiteford scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend its lead to 8-0.
Unity Nelson struck out all three Laingsburg batters in the top of the seventh inning to end the game.
Ottawa Lake Whiteford won this semifinal game 8-0 and will play Standish-Sterling in tomorrow’s final game.
Ashley Bila had a double and Addyson Buchin had a single for Laingsburg.
Addyson Buchin pitched the complete game for Laingsburg and struck out six Bobcat batters.
Kaydence Sheldon had three singles and three RBI for Ottawa Lake Whiteford. Patrina Marsh had a double, a single and two RBI. Karlei Conard had a single and two RBI. Alyssa VanBrandt, Allison Spradling, Unity Nelson and Koralynn Billau each had a single.
Unity Nelson pitched the complete game for the Bobcats. She gave up zero runs and two hits while striking out eleven batters.