By: John Raffel
Coleman takes Division 4 softball runner-up spot
Coleman got one step farther in the softball playoffs this year. But not far enough as far as the Comets were concerned.
Coach Chad Klopf’s team got to the softball Division 4 finals after starting out the week 2-0. But a 5-2 loss to Centreville in the title game put an end to everything.
“It was one play in one inning that really turned everything around for them,” Klopf said. “We took the lead, but they came back and tied it up.”
Coleman was ahead 1-0 going into the bottom of the third. The game was tied 1-1 in that inning and a throwing error brought home three runs.
“It’s tough to come back from that level of competition,” Klopf said. “We fought. The ball was coming off the bat hard. They weren’t happy with the outcome. They were there to win it. It’s another step closer.”
In the semifinals, Coleman enjoyed a 2-0 win over Rogers City. The Comets scored their two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on Autumn Tubbs’ two-run single.
Winning pitcher Faith Barden scattered three hits and one walk while fanning 11 batters.
“She was solid on the mound, keeping them at bay,” Klopf said. “We were confident the ball would eventually work its way through the gaps, and it did (in the sixth).”
Coleman edged Frankfort 1-0 in the quarterfinals to get into the semifinals against Rogers City. Barden had nine strikeouts and no walks
“She hit her spots when she needed to,” Klopf said. “She kept some real good hitters at the top of their lineup off the bases. When she needed the defense, they came through. The left side of the infield made some great plays to save some baserunners and get us out of the inning. We produced a run in the fourth inning. Autumn came up with a hard hit to second base and the infield had to go to first base and we got the run home.”
Rogers City had won a state title in 2014.
“We’re the only team returning from last year’s Final Four that’s down there,” Klopf said after the quarterfinal. “We know what to expect.”
Coleman only graduates two players from this team, giving Klopf a huge reason to be optimistic about the 2019 season.