Remember this date: May 21st, 2012. Because, that's the date that the Swartz Creek Dragons Varsity Softball Team won their first ever Flint Metro League Championship! It was a day filled with a range of emotions, but after it was determined the games would be played, the Dragons came out on fire! No amount of rain from mother nature or head-games from the opposing coach would dampen their spirits today. They would not be denied! It truly is the Year of the Dragon!
Swartz Creek 5 Fenton 2
As you can see from the photo above the night started out late and wet. Fenton got a single in the first, but stranded the runner. Hayley Cruthers led off the first smashing a double of the opposite field fence to set the tone for the Dragons. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on another wild pitch. Hailey Fox came up and whacked a 2-strike double to the fence herself and also advanced to third on a wild pitch. Gabby Deering joined the double party by hitting her own and knocking in Fox. Emily Rodriguez came into pinch run for Deering. Carah Pletscher singled to score Rodriguez. Emily Weekly came into courtesy run for Pletscher. Weekly advanced to second on another wild pitch. Ashlyn Beck was then hit by a pitch. Weekly moved to third on a passed ball before AJ Brookman walked to load the bases. Weekly scored on another wild pitch. Beck was tagged out attempting to score on a wild pitch that took a lucky bounce right back to the catcher. Nevertheless, the Dragons were happy to take the 4-0 lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the third when Fenton scored 2 runs on a couple bunts, error, stolen bases, and a walk. They cut the lead to 4-2 before Creek worked out of the inning.
In the bottom of the third singles by Deering and Michaela Krusina and Beck getting hit by a pitch again would load the bases, but Creek could not push them safely across home plate.
The score remained 4-2 until the bottom of the 4th when Andrea Aldridge led off with a walk. She moved to second on a passed ball before Cruthers cracked another double this time to the right-center field fence (her 20th double of the season). Aldridge scored on Cruthers hit. A Deering ground out pushed Cruthers to third with two outs. Cruthers was then tagged out at home plate while attempting to score on a wild pitch. The inning ended with Creek up 5-2.
In the next couple of innings Pletscher smacked a double off the opposite field fence, Cruthers was hit by a pitch, and AJ Brookman walked, but none would score. Pletscher pitched what I believe to be her best game of the season tonight against a the second place team in the league scattering 4 hits and allowing no earned runs with 10 strikeouts.
There was a brief celebration after the final out was made as the Dragons knew they'd be guaranteed at least a share of the league championship. The Dragons knew they may have to win the next game to win the league outright depending on what was happening between Lapeer West and Kearsley. Kearsley won the first game, which meant they still only had 3 losses. Fenton's first game loss to Creek was their 4th. West already had 4 losses before the day began. Now the Dragons were all alone with a 13-2 league record.
Swartz Creek 4 Fenton 5
In the nightcap the Dragons started out somewhat slowly, but in the end played a pretty solid game, never giving up and staying upbeat and positive throughout the game.
With Fenton as the 'home' team the game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when Fenton scored 5 runs on 3 hits and a couple Creek circus plays.
The score remained the same with Fenton's pitcher Sami Cowger in the midst of a no-hitter, which is quite a feat while pitching against the 2012 Dragons Offensive Machine. But, in the top of the sixth with 2 outs Fox ripped a double down the left field line to end that nonsense. She moved to third on a passed ball before Deering was walked to put runners on the corners. Krusina walked to load the bases. Fox scored on another wild pitch. Pletscher was walked to reload the bases, but that is where the scoring threat ended with Creek down 1-5.
In the top of the seventh with 1 out both Brookman and Aldridge reached base on error. Cruthers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Brookman scored on a wild pitch. Aldridge scored on another wild pitch. Deering hit the ball hard at 2b and reached base on an error that scored Cruthers. Suddenly the Dragons were only down 5-4, but with 2 outs. And that's where the game would end.
AJ Brookman pitched for the Dragons only giving up a couple earned runs on 5 hits with 8 strike outs.
The Big Announcement
So, the Dragons dropped their second game going to 13-3, but they still knew they'd at least share the league championship. Then the announcement came over the loud speaker: "West came back to beat Kearsley in the second game", meaning Kearsley just got it's 4th loss in the league and Creek had only 3 losses......and the girls knew immediately what that meant as the Trophy was presented to them as the Flint Metro League Champions.
Congratulations to the Lady Dragons! The 2012 Flint Metro League Varsity Softball Champions.