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Anna Dixon’s two homers, Andrea Elmore’s no-hitter lead Mercy to title

By: Tom Markowski, May 23, 2016, 8:31 pm

Detroit – No one at Detroit Mercy were more surprised by what took place on Monday than was sophomore Anna Dixon.

Dixon, playing her first season at catcher, belted her first two home runs and junior Andrea Elmore tossed her first no-hitter of the season as Farmington Hills Mercy scored nine runs in the first three innings and defeated Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 10-0 in the Catholic League championship game.

“It was definitely different,” Dixon said of the events that took place. “I’ve never hit one before. (With the first one) I was just trying to get a base hit. The same thing with the second. I was just trying to get things started for my team.

“I guess I just got the right pitches to hit.”

Dixon, the leadoff and left-handed hitter, blasted the second pitch from Notre Dame Prep starter Micaela Gleason well over the right field fence. Her second went over the centerfield fence and came with two runners on that gave the Marlins a 5-0 lead.

Dixon was retired on her third at bat on a fine play by centerfielder Elizabeth Swartz that likely saved a double. Dixon’s fourth at bat resulted in a deep fly to center where Swartz caught it on the warning track.

“She’s been a good contact hitter,” Mercy coach Alec Lesko said. “I’ve told her that she’s got the ability to hit with power. At our place she started putting them over the fence in practice.

“She’s got a sweet, smooth swing. We’ve asked her to get more extension on her swing.”

Elmore walked the first batter then set the next 18 batters down in order. The game was called after six innings because of the 10-run, mercy rule. She struck out 13 and none of the balls hit fair were hit hard.

“Things were just working,” she said. “I’m happy.

“This is (Dixon’s) first year catching so it’s been hard on her. The pitcher-catcher duo is really important. Watching her improve has really been great.”

Eight of Mercy’s nine batters reached base safely and six collected base hits. Elmore had two doubles and two RBI, and Abby Krzywiecki had a double and two RBI.

It was an odd game for Elmore in many ways. It was the first time in high school she batted against Gleason, her cousin.

“It was really weird,” Elmore said. “I hadn’t batted against her since I was 10.”

Mercy seems to be playing its best with just a week left before the start of the state tournament. The Marlins are 27-1 and swept a triple-header on Saturday.

Notre Dame Prep (25-4) entered the game playing well, too. The Irish won the league’s AA Division title and defeated Warren Regina in the league semifinals last week.

“Today we couldn’t find a way to get a hit,” N.D. Prep coach Betty Wroubel said. “We weren’t as disciplined (at the plate) as we have been. It wasn’t our best effort.”