District Champs move on to Regional play Saturday in Clare
Hesperia 13 Mason County Central 7
For the third time in a row during their tournament ride the Panthers pounded out a baker’s dozen runs to capture District honors and move on to Regional play. After defeating Shelby 13-0 and Hart 13-1 they made it a triskaidekaphilia sweep with the win over the Spartans in Manistee.
Hesperia hitters have been hot in this postseason and the title game was no exception.They crossed the plate at least once in every inning including the 3 run rally in the opening frame that gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish despite the determination of the Spartan squad. Holding an 11-3 lead the Panthers saw a 5th inning rally by the MCC offense get them back within striking distance but the Hesperia hits kept coming and a couple of insurance runs were added while the defense held the Spartans in check for the rest of the contest.
Coach Bolles: ““I never really felt safe with our lead but offensively we continued to put pressure on our opponents.We had timely hits today when we needed them and now we are district champs for only the 3rd time in 29 years.”
Ellie Palmer who went the distance from the slab knocked in 4 teammates with 3 singles. Daelyn McKinnino and Lynsey Tinkham rapped out three hits apiece and Becci Castillo drove home a pair with a double and single.
Total hits on the day for the Panthers?
Total times they struck out?
It will be Panther vs. Panther as Hesperia heads for Clare this weekend to face Standish-Sterling Saturday at high noon. The winner will face the survivor of McBain/Clare in a 2pm matchup.
“We look forward to the challenge,” said Coach Bolles.”So proud of these girls. We’ve pushed them this year.We demanded a lot from them and they responded with a great effort down the stretch."