By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
One week after capturing the program’s first district title in 10 years and the fourth in school history, Oxford Wildcat softball fell to the Fenton Tigers, 12-5, in a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Regional No. 1 semifinal at Fran Danek Field at MacGregor Elementary, home of the Bay City Central Wolves, on June 12.
With this defeat, Oxford’s strong season comes to an end at 25-16.
Junior right-hander Abby Witt took the loss, allowing seven runs, only two of which were earned, on nine hits over three-and-two-thirds innings with two walks and a strikeout.
Annah Burdua, another right-handed junior, worked the final three-and-a-third, surrendering five runs (four earned) on six hits and five walks.
Offensively, seniors Alexis Cardona, Meghan Lupu, Alexis Stoll, and junior Mya Spisz each tallied two hits for the Wildcats.
Fenton’s junior second baseman, Madi Best, was the star of the game, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, and six runs batted in (RBI).
Jordyn Bommersbach, a junior, earned the win for the Tigers, throwing five innings in relief, giving up five Wildcat hits, three earned runs, one base on balls, and striking out two.
Serving as the designated home team, Oxford took the lead, 2-1, in the second inning when Spisz, who singled to begin the frame and advanced all the way to third base after the softball scooted past freshman center fielder Sophie Collins, scored on a groundout by junior catcher Ryann Makowski.
Fenton would tie the contest at two in the top of the third, and went up by five runs, 7-2, in the fourth, with three of the runs coming on a Best home run with two outs.
The Wildcats cut the deficit to two runs, 7-5, in the fifth inning, courtesy of an inside-the-park home run by Lupu and a two-run shot by Spisz.
Unfortunately, the Tigers added a run in the sixth and four more in the seventh to pull away and bring the game to its final.
Softball was the final Oxford athletic program still competing in the 2020-21 school year, and this was the last game in the high school career of seven seniors: Makenzie Brown, Cardona, Maddy Lovins, Lupu, Caroline Marsh, Emma Morris, and Stoll.
Four of these members of the Class of 2021 will be continuing their student-athlete careers at the collegiate level, as Cardona will be playing for the Davenport Panthers in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), Morris is headed to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) to play for the Lake Erie Storm, and Lupu and Stoll will both be competing in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), having signed with the Adrian Bulldogs and Albion Britons, respectively.
Peeking ahead to the 2022 campaign, head coach Kenny Allen is set to return 10 young women listed on his end-of-season roster, led by Burdua, Olivia Makarewicz, Makowski, Spisz, and Abby and Ashlyn Witt.
MHSAA Regional No. 1 recap
In the other semifinal, the Traverse City West Titans topped the Midland Chemics, 5-2.
Traverse City West then held off Fenton, 5-4, in the Regional Championship Game to advance to the MHSAA State Quarterfinals against the Grandville Bulldogs, which took place on Tuesday on the campus of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.
Wildcat statistical leaders
– Batting average – Senior Alexis Stoll: .532
– Hits – Stoll: 66
– Doubles – Senior Meghan Lupu and Stoll: 9
– Triples – Stoll: 6
– Home runs – Senior Emma Morris: 5
– RBI – Junior Mya Spisz: 52
– Games – Junior Abby Witt: 27
– Games started – Abby Witt: 22
– Wins – Abby Witt: 13
– Innings pitched – Abby Witt: 110
– Earned run average (ERA) – Junior Olivia Makarewicz: 2.89 (nine-and-two-thirds innings pitched)
– Strikeouts – Abby Witt: 66
By Teddy Rydquist