Mercy via no-hitter, Lutheran North by late rally are CHSL softball champs

Mercy has one of the most formidable pitching corps in the state: Sophomore Sophia Paluk (left; 5-1, 1.65 ERA), sophomore catcher Kat Burras, 3 passed balls in 165 innings; freshman Kaitlyn Pallozzi (9-0, 0.71 ERA, 175 Ks in 68 innings) and sophomore Asia Barbato (10-1, 1.51 ERA). (Photos by Don Horkey | Special to Detroit Catholic)

DETROIT — Suspense and wonderment.

In the opener of the two softball games played at the University of Detroit Mercy, Macomb Lutheran North scored three runs its first time at bat and rallied for three runs in its last at-bat to squeeze past Wixom St. Catherine of Siena, 6-5, for the CHSL Cardinal (AA Division) trophy, its second in the last three years.

In the nightcap, there was no mystery about the outcome of Farmington Hills Mercy’s 7-0 whitewash of Riverview Gabriel Richard (11-11) for the Catholic League Bishop (Central Division) championship.

The question was, would the Pioneers be able to cope with the fireballs hurled by the Marlins’ phenomenal freshman Kaitlyn Pallozzi? They couldn’t. She threw her fourth no-hitter of the season, striking out 19, walking four.

Pallozzi (9-0) and sophomores Asia Barbato (10-1) and Sophia Paluk (5-1), with a combined 1.23 ERA and opponents hitting an anemic .153 against them, comprise one of the most formidable pitching trios in the state. They root for one another, are happy for one another’s success, but, “Oh, we’re very competitive, too,” says Paluk.

Behind the plate flashing the signals for their assortment of fastballs, change-ups, curves, and risers, totaling more than 2,100 pitches thus far this spring, is sophomore catcher Kat Burras.

“It can get a little stressful,” she said, “having three outstanding pitchers, each with their own style. Sophia hits her spots, Kaitlyn has a great riser, and Asia, she has so many pitches with a lot of movement.”

Left-handed batter Izzy Chaput — the Marlins' leading hitter with a .544 average — sliced her fourth triple of the year down the left field line and scored on a ground ball to give Mercy an early 1-0 lead. Third baseman Kendall Spikey singled in a run in the third to make it 2-0.

In the fifth inning, right fielder Charlie Lambert, Chaput and Pallozzi strung together a triple, double and home run to make a 5-0 game.

In the sixth, Lambert smacked a two-run homer, her third of the year, to wind up Mercy’s offense.

The Marlins (24-2) close out the regular season Saturday in Northville’s “Battle of Six Mile” tournament against Trenton at 9:45 a.m., Pinckney at 11:30 a.m. and Westland John Glenn at 4:45 p.m.

A perfect 25-0 ‘a best kept secret’

A review of 172 softball teams in all divisions in the state that have played a minimum of six games reveals only one team has a perfect record. That would be Macomb Lutheran North at 25-0 (17-0 in CHSL AA Division).

Macomb Lutheran North jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, then had to rally with three runs in their last at-bat to beat St. Catherine of   Siena for the CHSL Cardinal Division trophy, its second title in three years.
Macomb Lutheran North jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, then had to rally with three runs in their last at-bat to beat St. Catherine of Siena for the CHSL Cardinal Division trophy, its second title in three years.

And it's not even ranked in the top 10 in Division 2.

“We’re the best kept secret,” said coach Duane Anger after his squad rallied to win its second CHSL trophy in the last three years.

Soft line-drive singles by Alivia Peterson, Emma Shannon and Sophia Heidrick and a bunt by Mia Newton produced a 3-0 lead for Lutheran North in the first inning.

St. Catherine freshman pitcher Soseh Broglin helped her cause with a home run in the fourth inning.

The Stars took a 4-3 lead in the sixth. Rachel Tura drove in one run and Katie Hans singled two more. Senior catcher Franki Ventura’s lead-off home run in the seventh set the stage for Lutheran North’s winning rally.

Anna Broullette’s single scored a pair of runs to make it 5-5. The winning run came on a bases-loaded walk to Katie Martin.

“They never quit. They keep trying,” Anger said.

St. Catherine coach Bob Green said, “This’ll motivate them for next year. We have a young team (two seniors, eight sophomores).” The Stars head into the state playoff with a 15-5-2 record.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].



Share:
Print


AOD Mass - Article Bottom
Menu
Home
Subscribe
Search