2018-06-14 / Front Page

USA softball, baseball advance to state semis

By Mike Wilson
Sports Reporter • mwilson@mihomepaper.com


SAGINAW - Delanie Pavlichek is greeted at home plate after her grand slam that gave the USA Patriots their ticket to the state semifinals at MSU on Friday. 
Photo by Mike Wilson SAGINAW - Delanie Pavlichek is greeted at home plate after her grand slam that gave the USA Patriots their ticket to the state semifinals at MSU on Friday. Photo by Mike Wilson SAGINAW - Both the USA baseball and softball teams qualified to play in the state semifinals with victories in their quarter final games on Tuesday afternoon.

The softball team took on annual powerhouse Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, which has made 11 straight trips to the state semifinals, in a rematch of last year’s game.

It was a matchup of senior pitchers Waterford’s Hannah Davies and USA’s Katie Engelhardt. Both pitchers were nearly perfect on the mound until the bottom of the 6th inning when with the score tied at zero, USA’s Maci Montgomery led off with a base hit and then Rylee Zimmer and Engelhardt drew walks to load the bases. Delanie Pavichek then stepped up to the plate,


SAGINAW - USA pitcher Katie Engelhardt threw a two-hit shutout against Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes in the state quarterfinals to give the Patriots a berth in the semifinals. 
Photos by Mike Wilson SAGINAW - USA pitcher Katie Engelhardt threw a two-hit shutout against Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes in the state quarterfinals to give the Patriots a berth in the semifinals. Photos by Mike Wilson “I knew that bases were loaded, so I didn’t have to do too much,” Pavlichek said. “A base hit or sacrifice fly would have done the job.”

That’s when she drove the ball down the left field line that cleared the fence for a grand slam home run. Coach Isaiah Gainforth, who jumped about four feet in the air when he saw the ball clear the fence, said he had been waiting for a bit hit.

“It couldn’t come to a nicer girl,” Gainforth said. “She’s a top-notch individual, just a great kid, I’m happy for her.”

Those four runs were all Engelhardt needed as she completed the two-hit shutout of the Lakers by shutting them down in the top of the 7th and sealed the victory and a trip to the state semifinals on Friday where USA (31-8) will face Centerville (34-6) at 5:30 p.m., at Michigan State University.


KINGSTON - USA catcher Maci Montgomery puts the tag on Ubly’s Saide Souva as she slides into home plate in the regional championship game. KINGSTON - USA catcher Maci Montgomery puts the tag on Ubly’s Saide Souva as she slides into home plate in the regional championship game. The baseball team matched up against first time quarter-finalist Plymouth Christian Academy. USA jumped out to a fast start when they scored five runs in the first inning. Cooper Kauffold drove in two runs with a base hit to start the scoring and the Patriots never looked back.

“That was huge,” USA coach Tyler Bader said. “We talked about it yesterday, we knew they came in and this was their first quarterfinal ever and we said, ‘we remember what that was like when we did that.’ To come out and try to knock the wind out of them right off of the bat, I thought would work out for us and it would hurt them.”

USA’s Hunter Bohn, who pitched in last years’ quarterfinal as well, took the mound and controlled the game as he went six innings, allowing seven hits, walking two, allowing just one earned run, and striking out five for the Patriots.

With the 11-2 victory over Plymouth, the Patriots (21-15-1) move on to the state D4 semifinals where they will face St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic.

The game will be played 11:30 a.m., Friday morning, at Michigan State University.

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