CROSWELL – They had no choice.
The Marysville 12-and-under little league softball team had to win. If Marysville were to lose to St. Clair on Thursday, it would have lost its district.
But instead, Marysville got off to the best start imaginable and went on to defeat St. Clair 12-1 in six innings.
The loss was St. Clair’s first of the district round and leads to yet another showdown between the teams Friday at 6 p.m. behind Croswell-Lexington Middle School.
“It was kind of a role reversal,” Marysville coach Jim Collins said. “We made the plays on defense and they kind of struggled early. That set the tone for the game. That’s exactly what happened last game.”
Earlier in the week, St. Clair sent Marysville to the losers bracket with an 8-1 win. Marysville battled back by defeating Croswell-Lexington, which put them in the district title game against St. Clair.
Marysville scored four runs in the first inning, two runs in the second and two in the third to take a 8-0 lead. They added four runs in the top of the sixth inning and St. Clair could only answer with one in the bottom half of the inning.
That led to the mercy shortened victory, but St. Clair will have another chance when the teams square off again Friday.
“They played a good game and they hit the ball hard and made the plays,” St. Clair coach Matt Griffor said. “We made some mistakes. It just wasn’t our day. We have to come back and minimize mistakes and when the girls are in scoring position we have to get them to score.”
Lark Collins was the winning pitcher after throwing five innings and striking out three for Marysville. She added three hits and three RBIs from the plate. Abby Moore added a hit and an RBI and Kaylee Greaux and Meagan Liniarsky each had a hit.
“We just had each other’s backs,” Lark Collins said. “When you have that you have a really good support system and can start a rally. Our love for the game is really big and that means you can do anything.
“If we have good teamwork like we had we will play well (Friday). We need to want it more than them and have each others backs and start a rally from the start.”
Meanwhile, St. Clair hopes to respond and press through Marysville for the district title.
“We could have done a better job fielding,” St. Clair’s Haley Drugach said after leading the team with two hits. “We didn’t make enough plays but we will still have confidence.”
Although they won via mercy, Marysville is guarding against overconfidence.
“I told the girls after we lost to them not to worry,” coach Collins said. “It’s about having a short memory. I told them to celebrate for a little bit (Thursday) and come back ready to play. St. Clair is going to come after us (Friday).”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at email@example.com. Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.