Gehrls and Caledonia get past Regina, 1-0, to advance to D1 final for second time in four years
East Lansing – Sammie Gehrls will get a second chance at a state title.
As a freshman three years ago Gehrls went to the mound for Caledonia but Warren Regina got the better of Gehrls that day as Regina drfeated Caledonia, 5-0.
Gehrls and Caledonia paid Regina back on Thursday as Gehrls tossed a 3-hitter and knocked in the game’s only run as Caledonia defeated Regina, 1-0, in a Division 1 semifinal at Secchia Stadium on Michigan State’ campus.
Hartland defeated Livingston County rival Howell, 6-4, in the other semifinal.
Hartland (33-5) will plat Caledonia (28-6) for the title on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Emmalee Hamp hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the third and Gehrls grounded out to second to score Hamp.
Gehrls did not allow a base runner to reach third and four reached second. She struck out nine and allowed one walk.
Marisa Muglia went all six innings for Regina (25-8) and she allowed seven hits, one walk and struck out three.
Regina scored 35 runs in its previous three games, including 13 in a quarterfinal.
“I was worried,” Caledonia coach Tom Kaechele said. “Sammie wants this so bad. She wants it for the community. She wants it for her team and she wants it for me. She’s so humble.
“She’s pitched so well the last four years. She’s been a leader all along but she doesn’t step on anyone’s toes.”
Gehrls has allowed two runs in Caledonia’s last four games.
“I love it,” Gehrls said. “I love the competition. Coach tells us to leave it all on the field. We knew about Regina but we’ve had a really tough conference schedule. Hudsonville, Grandville and Rockford are all good. All those teams were big-time (hitting teams).”
Hartland trailed 2-0 at the end of the first inning then scored four in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead. Howell got within a run by scoring a run in the fifth before Hartland took a 6-3 lead in the sixth on Brooke Cowan’s RBI double and Hannah Mourad’s RBI single.
Howell (29-11) had the tying runs on base with two outs in the seventh before Rachel Everett got the last batter on a fly out to center to end it.
Everett allowed nine hits, walked one and struck out five. Molly Carney went all six innings for Howell and allowed four earned runs and nine hits.
Cowan led the hitting attack for Hartland by going 3-3 with two RBI.
Gabi Salo continued her dominance in the circle this season as she tossed a 4-hitter leading Escanaba to a 2-0 victory over Eaton Rapids in the second semifinal.
South Haven blew past Dearborn Divine Child (22-10), 14-0, in the first semifinal and will play Escanaba (30-3) for the title on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Salo, who has five no-hitters this season and was a finalist for the Total Softball Player of the Year award, allowed one walk and struck out seven.
Escanaba took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Lexi Chaillier’s double and a throwing error.
The Eskymos scored their second run in the sixth on a Taylor Gauthier triple and Madison Griffin’s single
Grace Lehto went the distance and allowed five hits for Eaton Rapids (36-7).
South Haven (32-8) will make its fourth final appearance. In 1977, ’78 and ’79 it lost in the Class B final.
South Haven scored all of its runs in the first four innings. Hayley Kreiger tossed a five-inning, 1-hitter and did not allow a walk.
Haley Mines had three hits and three RBI and Kreiger also had three RBI.