BLISSFIELD – Clinton softball coach Kim Phillip is hoping a little different pre-game routine might be enough to give the Redskins some added energy. Blissfield coach Chad Abbott is hoping his Royals keep their momentum rolling.
The Redskins took a 2-0 lead into the third inning Saturday when lightning, thunder then a heavy downpour led to the decision to postpone the Division 3 District final until 5 p.m. Monday. It’s a game between two softball heavyweights – Clinton is ranked No. 2 in the most recent Division 3 poll while the Royals come in at No. 10.
“I’m really happy with how the day has gone so far,” Blissfield’s Abbott said. “We played very well. We were aggressive at the plate, which I like, and we played pretty good defense. We just need to come back on Monday and keep it going.”
The Royals beat Madison, 3-1, in the semifinal, improving to 29-8 on the season. Kelsey Wyman scored twice and Lexi Clark had a homerun for the Royals while Ashley Miller pitched a strong game, hurling the home team into the finals.
The 25-10 Clinton squad is among the favorites to win a state championship and disposed of Britton-Deerfield, 4-0, in the semifinal. Phillip said the Redskin bats weren’t connecting the way they typically do.
“We’ve only scored six runs so far on the day,” she said during the lightning delay. “That’s unusual for us. We are usually up in double digits. I’m not sure if they were nervous a little bit or what, but we will get a practice in tomorrow and come back on Monday.”
Clinton played the noon game Saturday, which was delayed 30 minutes by a lightning sighting.
“We’ve only played four games at home all season, so our girls are used to being on the road,” she said. “We warmed up today at home then came here. I am thinking Monday we will come here and warm up. Blissfield has a nice facility and a nice softball field.”
The Royals scored first in the District final on an unearned run when Bryce Yeager went all the way to third on a line shot to the left side of the infield that rolled all the way to the outfield wall. She scored on a perfectly executed bunt by Lee Ann Seidl.
Clinton rebounded to take the lead in the second. Caitlyn Schuler started the rally with a hard hit ball to shortstop and scored on a two-out double by Ashleigh Donahey. Megan Burton also scored on the play following her single.
The game will resume in the top of the third with Clinton at the plate.
BD finished its season 9-15. Coach Leslie Tanis said the highlight of the season was winning six league games, something the Patriots have not done since 2004.
“We had the same issue today that we have had all season,” she said. “We left too many runners on base and we did not hit well. Continuity has been an issue all year due to the way the season started.”