MADISON JAMMER...slides safely into third base during last Saturday's game against Essexville-Garber. The Frankenmuth varsity softball team defeated the Dukes, 6-5 in the MHSAA Division 2 Regional opener but lost the finale, 15-0, to Swan Valley. The Vikings fell to Escanaba Tuesday afternoon, 5-0 and the Huskies will take on Richmond on Thursday, June 15, at Michigan State University.
FHS softballers fall in regional final; end season 31-9-1
The Frankenmuth varsity softball season ended last Saturday in Clio but not before the Lady Eagles played one more dramatic contest.
‘Muth competed in the MHSAA Division 2 Regional No. 10, falling to No. 1 ranked Swan Valley, 15-0, in the championship game. The semifinal contest was a thriller, with the Lady Eagles edging Essexville-Garber, 6-5.
Frankenmuth finishes the season with a 31-9-1 record, improving quite a bit over last year’s 22-17 record.
“It was a fun season and other than the Swan Valley game, we were competitive in all the games were played,” FHS Coach Brad Walraven said. “I would like to thank my coaching staff for all their hard work given to the program, for the support from our athletic director and school administration, for our trainer Julie Felten for keeping our team healthy and especially the girls for staying the course and playing hard each and every game.”
The games were played in bright sunshine, temperatures around 90 degrees and the wind blowing out to left and center fields.
Swan Valley scored six runs in the first inning, four more in the second inning and five in the third inning for the mercy-rule win.
“We fell a little flat coming off the emotional win in the semifinal game but make no doubt, we got beat by the better team. Swan Valley is ranked No. 1 for a reason,” Walraven said.
Madison Jammer and Hannah Karwat had the only two hits for ‘Muth.
The Vikings advanced to the MHSAA Quarterfinal on Tuesday, June 13, at Central Michigan University. The winner will advance to face either Dearborn Divine Child or Richmond at the MHSAA Semifinal, set for Thursday, June 15, at East Lansing.
Game one was a great game and it continued Frankenmuth’s “Revenge Tour” over teams that beat them back in May. In the span of two weeks, the Lady Eagles beat Clio and Birch Run in district action. The Dukes bested ‘Muth twice in Tri-Valley Conference East Division action on May 11. The 6-5 triumph avenged at least one of the losses.
Garber scored first in the top of the first inning with a single tally and got two more runs in the top of the third inning for a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, FHS plated four runs. Laura Farnsworth reached base on an error when the second baseman threw the ball into the dugout, allowing Farnsworth to advance to second base. Tara Keller pinch ran for Farnsworth. Jarlock walked and Brooklin Karwat delivered a RBI single, scoring Keller. Mya Bellinger placed a nice sacrifice bunt, loading the bases.
Claire Breinager singled in a run and when the throw from center field came in wild to the plate, it allowed Karwat to scamper home for the third run. Jammer followed with a bunt base hit and Kaylee Kujat smacked a hard ground ball to shortstop who bobbled the ball, allowing Breinager to score the fourth run.
There was no scoring in the fifth and sixth innings.
“Going back to earlier in the season, in game two of the doubleheader between these two schools, the Lady Eagles had a one-run lead going into the seventh inning only to lose by a run. It was the same situation: we were up by one run and needed three outs for the win,” Walraven said.
The Dukes led off the inning with a single and the next batter hit a two-run home run, for a 5-4 Garber advantage. The next batter doubled but ‘Muth settled down and retired the next three batters.
In the bottom of the seventh inning and with one out, Jarlock hit the ball off the top part of fence, barely missing a homerun but settling for a double. Brooklin Karwat belted her third hit of the game, an RBI double, tying the score. A ground out moved Karwat to third base. With two outs, Breinager hit a pop up between the pitcher, second baseman and shortstop that fell in, scoring Karwat for the 6-5 victory.
Emily Coulter notched her 21st triumph, striking out five and walking one. Kujat and Brooklin Karwat (two RBI) each had three hits, Breinager added two hits with two RBI. Coulter, Hannah Karwat, Jarlock and Jammer all had one hit.
“I expected the game to be close and it was. I never doubted our girls that they couldn’t come back . . . they have been doing that all year,” Walraven said. “They kept battling and never gave up. As a coach, that is all that you could ask for. I was very proud of the comeback and effort.”
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