DETROIT — It’s been 41 years since Madison Heights Bishop Foley won the CHSL C-D girls softball championship.

They’re going to have to wait another year after Macomb Lutheran North — in the finals for the first time since joining the CHSL in 2010 — beat the Ventures, 8-6, Monday afternoon at Detroit Mercy’s Buysee Ballpark.

The teams split four regular-season contests. “We know them, and they know us,” Ventures coach John Ploskonka said. “So it just comes down to execution.”

The coach’s fears were realized when Lutheran North put together back-to-back four-run rallies in the fourth and fifth innings, sending 17 batters to the plate, banging out six hits (of nine they got for the whole game) and taking advantage of five Ventures errors to determine the eventual outcome.

The Mustangs weren’t entirely blameless in the lack of execution. Bishop Foley took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Elle Laurencelle singled and Kayla Moore reached base on an error. Both scored: Laurencelle on a base hit by Brooke Imrick, Moore on another error.

Lutheran North responded with four runs in the fourth via singles by Reagan Ruatto and Emma Shannon and four Ventures errors.

Foley tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth. Moore was walked and came home on Melanie Moore’s long home run to right-center field.

The Mustangs batted around in the bottom of the fifth to retake the lead. The first six batters reached base safely: singles by Anna Brouillette, Ruatto, Shannon, and Liz Kandt, a walk to Lauryn Rhodea, and a dropped fly ball produced four runs.

Bishop Foley cut the margin in half in the sixth on a two-run double by Kayla Moore, driving in Janelle Johnson and Laurencelle who had singled.

Lutheran North thought it scored in the sixth when Ruatto hit a home run over the right field wall — except she failed to touch first base on her tour around the bases and the homer was nullified.

The Mustangs (20-11) have one of the youngest teams in the CHSL: two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores, and seven freshmen.

“They all contribute, too,” said coach Duane Anger. “I’ve been coaching a long time and this is the most freshmen I’ve had. They’re hungry. They come out to play.

“It looks good for the future, but I’ll enjoy this moment now.”

Bishop Foley (17-7) lost the CHSL final last year 1-0 to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

“(Winning this year) was one of our goals,” Ploskonka said. “Now we’ll move on to the districts and hopefully a good showing in the state playoffs.”


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