Dexter Softball Shocks Howell, Falls in District Finals


Many years ago, the intro to the Wild World of Sports show mentioned "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat," and Saturday the Dexter softball team felt both as the Dreadnaughts shocked division one top-ranked Howell and then fell to third-ranked Hartland as the Eagles rallied for a pair of runs in the seventh to stun the Dreadnaughts in the district finals.

The Dreadnaughts went toe-to-toe with the top-ranked Highlanders in a pitcher's dual between the Dreads Sam Sutton and Howell's Avrey Wolverton. 

Howell led off the second with a single and the runner moved up on a bunt, but Sutton got a strikeout and groundout to get out of the inning.

Dexter did not have a baserunner through three innings, but Kylee Niswonger ripped a triple to lead off the fourth. After a flyout, Sutton walked and Audrey Gauthier came in to run. She moved to second but a strikeout made it two outs. Jenna Wagenschutz popped up to the middle of the infield and it appeared Wolverton was going to catch it, but the Howell third baseman called her off at the last second and then dropped the ball, allowing Niswonger and Gauthier to score for a 2-0 Dreads lead.

Audrey Gauthier and Kylee Niswonger score on a Howell error to give Dexter a 2-0 lead. Photo by Mike Williamson

Sutton would continue mowing the Highlanders down until the seventh. With one out Howell hit back-to-back singles to put two runners on. Sayler made a fine catch of a line drive to right and a grounder to Niswonger at short ended the game.

Sutton struck out six, allowed three hits and walked none for the win for Dexter.

Niswonger's triple and singles by Livvy Mellifont and Brenna Cassidy were the only hits for the Dreadnaughts.

Coming off the high of the upset-win over Howell, the Dreadnaughts looked to make it two wins over top-ranked teams, but a seventh inning rally by Hartland doomed the Dreads in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss.

In another pitchers dual, the game was scoreless until the sixth.

Emma Sortor led off the sixth with a double and moved to third on a ground out. Mellifont would drive Sortor home for a 1-0 lead heading to the seventh.

Hartland opened the seventh with a single and the runner moved to second on a ground out. A single moved the runner to third, but an error on the hit allowed the runners to move up and tie the game at 1-1. Another single put two runners on before Sutton got a strikeout for the second out of the inning.  Hartland then beat out an infield single to drive in a run to take a 2-1 lead and Dexter would go down in order in the seventh to end the game.

Sortor finished with two hits and a run scored. Mellifont had a hit and RBI and Sutton a hit for the Dreads.

Sutton struck out four in the loss. She had pitched 13 scoreless inning against the #1 and #3 teams in the state Saturday until the dreaded seventh inning against Hartland.

Dexter finished its season with a 25-8 overall record.

Photo's by Mike Williamson

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