Warren Regina’s turning point last season was beating Farmington Hills Mercy in a doubleheader after the Marlins had won their first 10 games in the Catholic League. That sprung Regina on a winning streak which led to a state championship for coach Diane Laffey’s crew.
“We talked about that,” said Mercy coach Alex Lesko between games of the doubleheader Wednesday at Regina. “I don’t think they lost another game after that. They went through the Catholic League tournament to the state finals.”
The Marlins made sure they sent a message to the defending state champs, pounding them in the first game, 11-4, and completing the sweep with a 6-4 victory in eight innings.
Mercy improved to 22-1 and 12-0 in the Catholic League. Regina fell to 13-14-1.
It was a record-setting day for Marlins pitcher/first baseman Abby Krzywiecki. The senior clubbed her school-record 41st career home run in the second game of the doubleheader (which was her 200th career RBI). She also picked up her 46th career victory.
She’s fourth in the state all-time in home runs and fifth in RBIs.
Her father, Keith, retrieved the ball for the family trophy case.
“This year I’m just working on having fun instead of swinging for the fences,” said Krzywiecki. “I know last year I had more fun when I just went up and swung. I didn’t know I was close to the record. I didn’t even know there was a record. It’s just cool to be able to do it for my school.”
With plenty of traffic on the bases in the first game, both pitchers managed to get out of trouble in the early going.
With two runners on, Regina’s Nicole Roeske got a pop-out to end a threat. Andrea Elmore struck out Kristi Carlson swinging and Nicole Slongo looking to end Regina’s threat in the bottom of the first.
Mercy erupted tor nine runs in the third inning to break the game open.
Sophia VanAcker and Krzywiecki singled to start the inning. Nicole Belans came through with a single to score the first run. Shannon Gibbons stroked a double to knock in a pair of runs. Mary Reeber doubled with two out to score a pair and Anna Dixon singled to score another run.
Kryzwiecki capped off the big rally with a three-run homer to make it 9-0, her 12th home run of the season.
“Abby in her career here has just been a machine here driving in runs,” said Lesko. “She sits well for us in the three-spot. She does what she does. I’m most proud of how she keeps everything together as a leader.”
Regina finally got to Elmore in the bottom of the fifth, when Carlson cleared the bases with a shot over the centerfield fence to trim the deficit to 9-4.
Mercy capped off the big game offensively with two more runs in the ninth on a single by Anna Dixon and an RBI single by Krzywiecki.
Elmore scattered seven hits as her offense churned out 13.
“It wasn’t one of our cleanest games,” said Lesko, who watched his team commit five errors. “We’re working on a couple of her (Elmore) pitches. They aren’t as crisp as they have been in the past. … Mainly we threw two things. It was changing location. Except for that one inning she really worked well.”
In the second game, Regina scored off Krzywiecki in the bottom of the first on a double-steal.
After Krzywiecki homered, the Marlins took the lead in the top of fourth on error and sacrifice fly by Dixon to make it 2-1 and an RBI single by Krzywiecki to increase the lead to 3-1.
Regina loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and tied the game 4-4 on a two-run hit by Melina Livingston.
Mercy won on a two-run single by Cari Padula in the top of the eighth.
“We were terrible,” said Laffey. “You commit six errors in the first game. Abby, that’s what she does, hit home runs.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @farrellperry.
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