With the final game on the weekend schedule, Centreville coach Scott Logan figured the best way to keep his girls from worrying about the game all day was to have them check out the new Incredibles 2 movie. After watching the Bulldogs’ 5-2 Division 4 state final victory over Coleman Saturday evening at Michigan State University, Logan might have been wondering if a couple of his girls could have made guest appearances in the Disney-Pixar flick.
With the super power of a never tiring arm, Centreville pitcher Hannah Duchene once again took the mound Saturday. After a 103 pitch performance in the heat for Friday’s semifinal game, Duchene was back on the mound Saturday evening and pitched a gem for the Bulldogs.
“Pitching was the key throughout the day,” said Logan, “After a couple long days on the mound, I know she’ll be fine. She’ll probably be out pitching somewhere next weekend.”
Duchene made quick work of the Comets while in the circle. Needing just 77 pitches to buzz through 7 innings of work, she moved her pitches around and got Coleman to swing and counted on her teammates behind her to make the plays.
“I always know they have my back,” said a beaming Duchene after the game, “It’s amazing to have so much support, not just from the girls behind me, but from the entire town as well. Everyone’s on cloud nine right now.”
The ability to be able to grab any ball near her, even if it appeared to not be in the same zip code, was Kaylee Trattles super power Saturday evening.
Three times throughout the game, Trattles flashed brilliant glovework to the crowd at MSU’s Secchia Stadium. In the second inning, Trattles came from out of nowhere to track down a little blooper over the first baseman’s head and grabbed it with the end of her glove while avoiding the umpire and crashing into the photographer’s well along the dugout. In the fifth inning, Trattles dove to knock down a bullet off the bat of Mackenzie Miller. From her knees, she recovered in time to throw Miller out at first. To wrap up her defensive masterpiece, with one out in the seventh, Trattles scooped up a grounder to start the double play that closed out the Bulldogs’ first softball State championship in school history.
“I knew I pumped my team up and kept them confident,” said Trattles, “I knew Hannah was going to do great, and I had to have her back.”
Trattles only appeared at second base “around half a dozen times this season” according to Logan. With regular second baseman McKenzie Sheteron at her sister’s wedding, Trattles rose to the occasion.
“It was a once in a lifetime thing,” said Trattles, “I knew I had to play my best and fill in at the position I was put in at.”
“It was a little downfall that we didn’t have McKenzie today, she has been such a huge part of our run here,” said Duchene, “but Kaylee would come through and play the role she was supposed to and do her job for the team. I’m super proud of her for doing that.”
Centreville used a huge third inning to jump ahead of the Comets. With two outs and runners on first and second, Duchene started the Bulldogs’ rally with a scorcher to right field to score Morgan Walton and move Jaeden Blades to second. A walk to Kaeleigh West Wing loaded the bases and brought Olivia Deeds to the plate. Deeds sent a screamer back at the Coleman pitcher and a subsequent error cleared the bases to make the score 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, with the score now 4-2, West Wing started the inning by beating the throw from third for an infield single. A long fly ball to right field by Trattles allowed West Wing to tag up to second, and brought Emma Russell to the plate. Russell connected on a 3-2 pitch and drove it to the gap in left field, scoring West Wing and giving the Bulldogs an insurance run and making the score 5-2.
“This team, what can I say,” Logan said through a smile that hadn’t left his face in over 45 minutes following the Bulldogs’ victory, “Very deserving, very hard-working. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect ending for the season.”
Here’s a look at the action from photographer Brett Beier and videographer Mat Stutzman.