COLOMA — Coloma’s softball team just couldn’t come up with the clutch hit here Saturday in dropping a 3-2 decision to Schoolcraft in the Division 3 regional championship game.
Coach Wendy Goodline’s Comets, the defending D3 state champions, left 14 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded on three seperate innings in the title tilt.
“I know we left the bases loaded a lot, and you just can’t do that against a very good team,” stated Goodline, whose squad bowed out with a 24-13 record. “But we’ve had a great season, and if someone would have told me at the start that we would be playing for a regional championship, I would have laughed.”
Coloma returned just four starters from last year’s state title team, but none of them were pitchers.
“Megan (Koenigshof), who played shortstop last season, just did a great job in the circle for us this season including today,” praised Goodline. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t a great hitting team.”
The Comets won their regional semifinal over Delton Kellogg 1-0, as Koenigshof pitched out of several jams, striking out seven. Coloma managed only two hits, but plated an unearned run in the top of the third and Koenigshof made it stand up.
“I knew I needed to throw my changeup well, and early on I wasn’t,” said Koenigshof of her regional semifinal shutout. “But later on I found it.”
Schoolcraft pulled off a minor miracle in its semifinal win over Centreville. Trailing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles rallied for five runs to pull out the victory.
“That one was a little stressful,” admitted Schoolcraft coach Shane Barry, whose squad won the SAC Valley division going 11-0. “We took the hard road to get it done, but that was our goal (regional title) from day one. These girls just never give up.”
Schoolcraft will take a 30-4 record into a D3 quarterfinal at Hope College on Tuesday.
Schoolcraft 3, Coloma 2
Coloma 000 101 0 — 2 6 1
Schoolcraft 000 030 X — 3 6 3
WP — Adrian Rosey 5 inn, 10 k. LP — Meghan Koenigshof 5k. S — Makala Meade.
Top hitters - Schoolcraft: Danielle Alyly 2b, RBI; Rosey RBI 1b; Sophie Ridge 2 1b. Coloma: Koenigshof 2b, 1b; Hannah Mathis RBI 1b; Sammy Stewart RBI 1b.
Records - Schoolcraft 30-4, Coloma 24-13.
Coloma 1, Delton Kellogg 0
Coloma 001 000 0 — 1 2 2
Delton 000 000 0 — 6 2 2
WP - Koenigshof 7k. LP - Kapthyn 7k.
Top hitters - Coloma: Koenigshof 1b, Megan Neubecker 1b, RBI. Centreville: Lilly Timmerman 2 1b.