Tribune Recorder Leader
It’s always a tough way for a season to come to an end, especially a very successful one like this past spring’s campaign was for the Sandusky Lady Redskins softball squad. Everyone has to experience it at some point along the way, unless you reach the ultimate goal of winning a state championship.
For the Lady ‘Skins, their season came to an end against a solid Reese squad in a regional semi-final game on the Rockets home field Saturday. Reese went on to win the regional and advance to the Division 3 quarterfinals.
After an emotional meeting with his squad following their hard-fought 3-0 loss, Coach Danny Franzel commented, “It’s always tough to lose in the state tournament. You want to go as far as you can and not see it end. But, I will tell you this. I am so proud of these girls. It’s been a great season, we’ve accomplished a lot and while we lose some very talented seniors, the future looks very bright for Sandusky softball. We have some very good players coming back next year.”
The Lady Redskins finish the season 20-7 overall and earned league and district titles along the way.
Sandusky opened the game with plenty of hope against the powerhouse squad from Reese when lead-off hitter Caroline Ross smacked a base hit back up the middle in her first at bat. She was erased from the base paths on a popup double play and would be just one of two hits the Lady Redskins mustered all day. The other hit was by sophomore Katelyn Patterson, a line drive smash between second base and shortstop.
The bigger story of the day was the Reese pitching, which Sandusky never really solved, and their hitting attack. The Rockets touched Sandusky hurler Emily Cowley for seven hits, two of them going over the fence for home runs. Cowley, one of six seniors on the team, capped a great season and career by striking out seven batters.
“Emily has been fantastic for us all season,” Franzel said. “She has been one of the keys to our success and was just dominant all year long. We are really going to miss her and all the seniors.” Among others departing are centerfielder Keegan Nelson and shortstop Brooke Krueger. “Those two were clutch for us all season,” their coach noted. “Brooke led the team in hitting and at one point, was carrying a batting average of over .700. She was a very disciplined hitter and found a way to put the ball into play. Keegan handled centerfield for us and was another tough out at the plate. She had a big hit (first career home run) at Marlette that helped get us to the regionals.”
While the high school season may be over, several of the girls will continue playing with summer travel teams according to Franzel. “We’ve got some of the younger ones playing ball this summer and it’s only going to help them with their game,” he explained. “We have some good young pitching coming back, good power at the plate and we are expecting to have another great year next season. It’s been an honor to coach these girls and we are looking forward to next season.”