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Softballers fall in Division Finals

Brianna Schwarcz aims a bunt that got her to first base. The junior helped put Lake Orionís only run on the board. Photo by Gabriel Ouzounian (click for larger version)
June 08, 2011 - The Lady Dragons played in the division finals June 4, losing against the Bulldogs of Romeo in the dead heat of summer, 11-1.

The Dragons made short work of the Bulldogs in the first inning, with pitcher Kaitlin Kogut striking out two and catching a hit from the third batter to throw her out at first. The Dragons, on the other hand, came out roaring, quickly putting men and scoring their first run of the game off a missed throw to second base. A bunt from Brianna Schwarcz was also missed, and with a man on third and first, the game quickly fell into Lake Orion favor.

The second inning was largely uneventful, with the exception of an efficient play that stopped Romeo runners on third and second thanks to an unexpected catch in center field.

The third inning proved the Bulldogs had come to play softball, however, scoring their first on a fly ball and their second with a clutch home run. Sloppy play from the Dragons, including a throw to a vacant first base, let two runners get on third and second with two outs on the board. A strike out saw the Dragons hold Romeo's scoring to three.

The Dragons came out a little slow but with two outs on the board a solid hit saw one Lake Orion runner to first base, yet a questionable call from an ump called the player out. The Bulldogs took the bat as a long forth inning started.

The first Romeo player at bat hit full count before slamming one into right center field, allowing her to get a close triple. The Dragons stopped the second batter, catching her pop fly foul, but the third batter up hit a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of the Bulldogs. The fourth batter up hit a line drive into left field for a single, the fifth walked, and the sixth hit a single to bring another runner home. Yet another solid hit turned the score into an imposing 7-1 in favor of the Bulldog.

Senior Sandra Rippon took the mound to replace Kaitlin Kogut, but the Bulldogs still managed to score their eighth run. Another solid hit put a runner on second and third, while a line drive to right field brought in another two runs. The Bulldogs would not stop, with yet another runner pulled home off an error at first base.

Finally, the score 1-11, the Dragons tagged out their third out at first base.

After striking out one runner, Jennifer Warznie caught a solid hit into center field, using an error to get to second. But one tag out and one catch off a fly ball saw the end of the fourth inning.

The Dragon defense stepped up a bit, with senior pitcher Sandra Rippon catching an in-field fly ball, but it wasn't long before the Bulldogs had a runner on first. Yet a catch in left field and a strike out quickly turned the offense over to the Dragons before.

Following an initial strike out, Julia Basso kept herself alive long enough to hit a potential single into left field, but quick footwork saw the ball caught. A strike out put the game to bed in the fifth inning on a mercy ruling.

The team previously beat Stoney Creek 12-2, also taking the game in five innings with a mercy ruling.

Head Coach Joe Woityra said the one major aspect Lake Orion lacked in the game was team base running speed, something he said Romeo capitalized on. Another problem was the heat.

"We had two or three girls that were having problems with the heat, including our shortstop and our catcher," said Woityra. "It was probably the hottest weather we've played ball in in years. But we both played in it and Romeo played a really good game."

"In the end we didn't play defense and we made errors. Softball is a game of precision, and if you're not perfect you give the other team the chance to score, and that's what happened."

The Girls' Varsity Softball team finished their season 27-9.

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