Detroit Renaissance was seeking its ninth straight Detroit PSL girl’s softball title and didn’t expect Cass Tech to pose much of a threat Friday at University of Detroit Mercy’s Buysse Field.
While sophomore pitcher Chloe Ostolosa flirted with a no-hitter through five innings, the Phoenix offense piled up enough early runs to capture the crown with a 10-4 victory.
Winners of 14 of the last 16 titles, don’t expect Renaissance (26-4) to go away anytime soon with a roster full of freshmen and sophomores.
“The thing I like about this group is that they listen and they’re getting it done in the classroom and on the field,” said coach Garrard Taylor.
“I went with Chloe today. I have a freshman that’s 13-2 and Chloe is 13-2, and we have a tournament tomorrow (Saturday) and they’ll both be pitching.”
The Phoenix struck early using a single, double steal, a botched fielder’s choice play and walk to load the bases. Danielle Young responded with a two-run double to give the winners a 2-0 lead. Amber Marsh smashed a double down the leftfield line to make it 4-0.
Sophomore second baseman Breanna Lawrence hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth that was just inches fair to make it 6-0.
“It was close (to being foul),” said Lawrence. “It was a good home run. I felt it was going over.”
The Phoenix added a run on a fielder’s choice play to make it 7-0.
Meanwhile, Ostolosa, behind sterling fielding, mowed down the Lady Technicians (15-10) without a base-runner until the fifth when Asia McGee was hit by a pitch. A stolen base and an error got a run across for Cass Tech to make it 7-1.
Cass Tech didn’t get its first hit until the sixth on a triple by Natasha McCoy, and some shoddy fielding led to a three-run rally, reducing the Phoenix lead to 7-4. A close out at third would have set Cass Tech up with runners at first and third with one out.
“I was just trying to keep it going,” said Ostolosa. “I wasn’t doing anything in particular, just hit them on the inside and outside and change it up when I had to. I wasn’t disappointed in the sixth because I knew we would come back.”
■WESTERN 13, DENBY 2 (3 innings): The Cowgirls (12-3) took advantage of 11 walks and numerous throwing errors to capture the consolation game.
“We know that we’re not going to hit the ball all the time,” said second year coach Don Wolan. “We try to force teams to react to what we’re doing at the plate and in the field to put pressure on the opponent.
“We play Cass in the districts and we have time to get ready for that.”
First-year pitcher Aitza Rodriguez (eight strikeouts) scored the game’s first run on a three-base throwing error to give Western a 1-0 lead. Perla Hernandez drove in Terrin Ludolph with a double to make it 2-0 as the Tars had trouble fielding the ball.
Sannia Walls walked the bases loaded before Melissa Gonzalez walked to force in another run, making it 3-0.
Denby got on the board when Jasmine Welch bounced out to first, scoring Tanisha Thomas to make it 4-1. Rodriguez allowed a run on a wild pitch in the third inning to make it 4-2.
A walk, stolen base and passed ball allowed the Cowgirls to score their fifth run in the bottom of the third. Western loaded the bases for Julissa Tinoco, who was hit by a pitch to force in another run to make it 6-2. Walls walked in another run to make it 7-2 for the winners. Walk No. 11 was to Ashley Wilson for an 8-2 lead.