Saginaw Valley State University.....here come the Dragons!
Swartz Creek Wins their 2012 District Championship!
The Dragons took and held an early lead only to fall behind in the top of the 7th by a score of 4-3. But this is THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON! With 1 out Andrea Aldridge walked. With 2 outs and 2 strikes Hailey Fox singled to put runners on 1st and 2nd. And then Gabby Deering smashed the ball off the right field fence just missing a home run, but Aldridge scored, and the coach sent Fox home for what would prove to be the game winning run. Doesn't get any more dramatic than that. Creek wins 5-4 to advance to the championship game.
Swartz Creek 5 Flushing 4
Carah Pletscher started the game on the mound for the Dragons striking out 2 of the first 3 batters from Flushing. Hayley Cruthers led off the bottom of the first by ripping a solo Home Run to the opposite field (8th), which is the only scoring in the first with Creek up 1-0.
In the bottom of the second AJ Brookman just missed a home run ending up on second with a double, but she would be stranded at the inning's end.
After the third consecutive 1-2-3 inning by Pletscher and the Creek defense, Aldridge led off with a bunt single in the bottom of the third. Cruthers reached base on an error to put runners at first and second. Later with 2 outs Michaela Krusina reached base on error to load the bases. Pletscher singled to knock in Aldridge and Cruthers. But, that was it for the scoring with Creek up 3-0.
A bunt single and home run by Flushing cut the lead to 3-2 after the top of the 4th inning.
In the bottom of the 5th Cruthers led off with a single, but was caught stealing. Fox followed with a single. Deering hit a laser line drive right at the second baseman, which resulted in Fox getting doubled off first to end the inning.
A single by Pletscher in the 6th with an error by the outfielder put a runner on second. Emily Rodriguez coming into courtesy run, but she too was stranded.
And then the game got exciting in a bad way for the Dragons as they watched Flushing take the lead 4-3 with 3 singles, a sacrifice fly, and an error. Could this be the end of a dream season for the mighty Dragons? Borrowing a quote from Tim the Tool Man's side kick Al......."I don't think so Tim!"
The bottom of the seventh came and with one out Aldridge battled for a walk. Then with 2 outs Fox hit a hard single up the middle to put runners on first and second for Gabby Deering. Deering then had likely the most memorable hit of her high school career just missing a home run off the top of the right field fence. Aldridge was an easy score, but Fox had to really hustle from first base and without hesitation was sent home by Coach Clolinger to score the game winning run and begin the celebration. Much of the large crowd on hand were Dragon fans and let out hoots and screams cheering for their Dragons. It was certainly one of the most dramatic wins and moments in Dragon history. High fives, hugs, smiles, and tears followed as the girls rushed the field to celebrate with the heroes. WOW!!!
Pletscher pitched a great game for the Dragons only allowing 2 earned runs, while scattering 6 hits with 6 stike outs.
The win would put Creek in the District Championship game versus the winner of the Clio/Carman game. That game was tied 2-2 going into the 6th before Clio took the lead 7-2 and eventually got the win to earn their shot at the championship.
Swartz Creek 9 Clio 1
The Dragons would be the visitors in the championship game, but once again Cruthers wasted little time ripping a ball off the right field fence for a stand-up double. Deering was walked to put 2 on with 1 out, but that is where they would stay as Creek stranded a couple more runners.
Fox singled to lead off the top of the third with still no score in the game. Deering was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Krusina reached base on an error to load the bases. Pletscher then crushed the first pitch way over the center field fence for a Grand Slam, the first in her career, and her second homer of the season. Brookman singled, but would be stranded with the Dragons up 4-0.
In the 4th inning the Dragon offensive machine continued pounding the ball. Fox hit her first career home run over the center field fence to put Creek up 5-0. Deering then ripped a line drive homer of the center field flag pole (5th) to give Creek a 6-0 lead. Pletscher singled with Rodriguez coming into courtesy run. She stole second, but would be stranded there with the Dragons up 6-0.
Brookman came into pitch for the Dragons with Pletscher moving to 3B for the flex player Sayles. Clio strung together 3 singles and took advantage of a hit-by-pitch to get what would prove to be their only run of the game with Creek up 6-1 after 4 innings of play.
Lauren Adas led off with a single up the middle in the 5th followed by sacrifice bunts by Ashlyn Beck and Aldridge moving Adas to third base. With the corners playing behind the bags and with 2 strikes, Cruthers laid down a surprise bunt for a hit and scoring Adas. Fox singled and Cruthers scored all the way from first base with Fox moving to second on the throw. Fox then advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Deering singled to score Fox with Emily Weekly coming into pinch run for Deering, but that would be it for the scoring with Creek up now by a score of 9-1.
Pletscher had returned to the mound in relief to shut down the Clio offense after a couple hits with no outs. She did so with the help of another double play with Fox running down a soft line drive over first baseman Deering's head, then flipping the ball back to Deering to complete the play.
In the top of the seventh Cruthers hit a 2-out single, then stole second to create another scoring opportunity for Creek. A hard hit ball by Fox right at Cruthers leading off at second base who had to freeze from the charging short stop, then was thrown out at third as she had nowhere to go, thus ending another scoring chance for Creek.
In the bottom of the seventh a single and error put runners on first and second with 1 out. Pletscher then got a huge strikeout for the second out with one more out needed for the win. A hard line drive to right field that should have been a hit and score at least one run turned out to be the final out of the game, because Ashlyn Beck made a sensational diving catch to give Swartz Creek the win and their second District Championship (2009).
The celebration began followed by the player's lining up for their medals and the trophy presentation. There was just enough time to get the championship team pictures before the sky opened up and the rain came down in buckets, sending the spectators and team's running for cover. Oddly enough, as the team got off the bus back in Creek the sun peeked out for a moment. Go figure.
Clio did end up with 7 hits in the game, but most were infield hits. The Dragons on the other hand pounded out 14 hits. Between the regular season league games versus Clio and today's game, the mighty Dragons belted 8 home runs and out-scored the Mustangs by a score of 36-2! Ouch!
The lady's now will rest up tomorrow, then get right back at practicing Monday for their trip to Saginaw Valley State University next Saturday for a shot at the Regional Championship. Not sure who they'll be playing yet with some district games getting rained out today, but they'll know in the next couple of days. We'll post it and the game time right here at the top of the web site for all to see. If you haven't made it out to one of the 2012 Dragons' games yet......you have really been missing out. Come on up to SVSU and watch the most exciting and winningest team in Dragon history (33-6) play some ball.