Farmington Hills Mercy’s 10-0 win in Monday’s Catholic League A/B division softball finals was a definite assault by a battery.
Catcher Anna Dixon hit her first two career home runs, and pitcher Andrea Elmore held Pontiac Notre Dame Prep hitless as the Marlins won the six-inning contest shortened because of the run differential.
Elmore walked Fighting Irish leadoff batter Madison McClune, but she would be the only baserunner Notre Dame Prep would have all night. Elmore struck out 13 and only allowed one ball out of the infield, a pop-up to short right-center that was caught by Sophia VanAcker.
“My family always says if you walk the first batter, bad things happen, so I was just hoping to get out of the inning with that first walked batter,” Elmore said. “Everything worked out great after that.”
“Andrea’s probably most competitive with herself, and once she walked that batter, she just went up a notch and said this won’t happen anymore,” Mercy coach Alec Lesko said. “That very next batter, she started spinning the ball like she can. It was spinning so much our catcher was having trouble with it, and that’s when we knew she was on her game. It’s fun when they’re hitting their spots and mixing it up and doing the things they do, and Andrea was on fire today.”
Elmore — who has signed with Mississippi Valley State — didn’t have to worry about offensive support, not with Mercy scoring twice in the first, five times in the second and twice in the third.
“They always hit great, but it was Anna Dixon’s first time (hitting a homer), so I’m especially happy for her, especially when she got two,” Elmore said. “It was a perfect game to hit it out, so I’m just really proud (of her), and everybody did really well; they did their job and it was great.”
“Basically, everybody had great hits. We were looking for our pitches, and when we saw them, we hit them,” Dixon said.
Dixon, who bats in the leadoff spot, homered over the right-centerfield wall in the first, and hit a three-run blast to straightway center in the second.
“I’ve been working on getting my timing down for basically this entire season, and it just happened today,” she said. “I guess that’s sometimes how things work out, I guess. I was just trying to get a base hit and maybe get a couple things started for my team. There was a lot of adrenaline and energy, and I just felt to happy to be able to do something that could put our team on the board.”
“For Anna, that was the first two of her career and we were real excited,” Lesko said. “She set the tone for us — it got our bats woken up.”
The only thing that surprised Lesko about Dixon’s home runs was that she picked the Catholic League finals to display her newfound power.
”She’s a tremendous contact hitter, rarely strikes out, and we were telling her ‘You’ve got the ability to put the ball over the wall,’ ” he said. “She’s been working hard, and the last couple weeks in practice, she started clearing our fence regularly in batting practice.”
May 23 high school sports results
Ann Arbor Richard 3, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 1: As a first-year coach, Nicole Lenhoff Henderson has already accomplished something she couldn’t do as a player: win a Catholic League title.
Henderson, a standout with Dearborn Divine Child who went on to play at Ferris State, guided Ann Arbor Richard to a win over Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.
Lakes struck first by scoring in the opening inning, but Richard pulled out the win with single tallies in the fifth, sixth and seventh.
“We tend to relax when were ahead, so I think we’re a better team playing from behind, to be honest,” she said. “We had a freshman pitcher out there, she was a little nervous in the first round, but we have some good players behind her and she stayed strong when we needed to her.”
Anna Timm went the distance, allowing seven hits while striking out eight, as the Lakers got their only run in the bottom of the first on a fielder’s choice. But the early deficit didn’t faze the freshman.
“It was really great because I just had the support of the team behind me, I always know literally and metaphorically that they’re behind me, so I have 100% confidence in them the entire time that I play,” she said. “I always know we’re going to come back. I always know I have the hits, I always know I have the plays, I have the team with me.”
The Fighting Irish tied the game in the fifth when Anna Wioncek doubled and came home on Julia Kennedy’s RBI single.
Two Lakers errors led to the go-ahead and insurance runs. One inning later, Hannah Boomer drew a leadoff walk, was bunted to second by Julia Kelly and stole third. She came home as the throw to third sailed into leftfield. Richard scored its final run when Emma Nowak had a single to lead off the seventh and moved ahead when Kennedy walked. After Emma Griffith laid down a bunt and was safe at first, loading the bases with no outs, Nowak scored on a fielder’s choice.