May 30, 2012 - The Lady Wolves needed to make a few runs going into the top of the seventh inning if they were going to beat Rochester, May 22.
Rachel Alli swings at the pitch. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
They were down 3-2 and for the last home game in the regular season - it wouldn't do for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Softball team.
Sophomore Rachel Alli hit the ball and brought in two runs to bring the girls into the lead, 4-2.
"She just kept following the ball over and over," said Don Peters, head coach. "She got on first and stole second."
"Mama Grande" Megan Hastings was next to make a big hit - this time a home run over the fence in the left field. The hit brought in two runs and sealed the win for the girls.
A fifth run from junior Sydney Hasselbach put the game, 7-3.
"It was a challenge for us," Hasselbach said. "We really came through when we needed to. We worked as a team and cheered each other on. Some of us were having our best games and the other girls turned it up."
She added what helped during the last inning was the players cheering for each other and staying positive.
"That is why we have done so well," Hasslbach explained. "We don't just have good players - we have a good team. Everyone gets along."
Rochester got two runs during the bottom of the first inning of the game and the Lady Wolves scored on two runs in the second inning to tie the game. Then, Rochester pulled into the lead when they scored another run.
The girls won the first game of the double header, 3-0.
"It was good," Peters added. "We got a couple of clutch hits during the game."
The Lady Wolves are spending this week preparing for the MHSAA District playoffs. They have a bye for the first round and will play the winner from the Lake Orion/Waterford game.
Hasselbach and Peters added playing Rochester and an array of teams during the University of Michigan tournament helped to prepare them.
"Rochester is a good team," Peters said. "They put a lot of pressure on us in different situations. They had some nice hitters, good pitchers, and nice runners."
"We saw a lot of good competition and it got us ready," Hasselbach added about the UofM Tournament. "It is one of the best in the state - one of the biggest. We really pushed through it. We played a lot of good teams and good games and competition."
She added for the playoffs the team has to keep going and work really hard.
The Lady Wolves play at 12 p.m. on Friday. The winner moves on to the finals, set for 5 p.m.
Both games are at Lake Orion High School.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.