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Renaissance will face Cass Tech for PSL crown at Detroit Mercy once again

Renaissance’s Naomi Smith / CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTO

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — The Renaissance Girls Softball Team will be aiming for their eighth straight Detroit PSL Title on May 18 at the University of Detroit Mercy against their common rival, Cass Tech.

The Phoenix (20-5) hasn’t had any problems in the PSL playoffs so far, shutting out King in the quarter-finals 15-0 on May 10, then disposing of Southeastern in the semi-finals May 14 at their home field, 28-1.

“I just hope the championship game is competitive,” said Renaissance head coach Leroy Holmes.

Cass Tech (11-4) had their hands full with both Mumford in the quarter-finals May 10 and Western in the semi-finals on May 14 at Renaissance. In Thursday’s quarter-final, the Technicians won a donnybrook over the Mustangs, 28-27. In Monday’s game against the much-improved Cowgirls, Cass Tech had another battle on their hands. Western (9-2) led 1-0 through the first three innings, then broke it open when they scored three runs in the top of the fourth when sophomore third baseman Ashley Wilson stole home, junior leftfielder Julissa Tinoco scored on a wild throw and senior pitcher Cynthia Montalvo scored on a fielder’s choice, giving Western a 4-0 lead.

However, Cass Tech made it 4-2 in their half of the fourth when sophomore first baseman Mariah Johnson scored on a wild pitch and junior first baseman Sashay Lurry scored when sophomore Kristin Braggs reached base with an error. The Technicians made it 6-4 in their half of the fifth with junior shortstop Tierra Traylor scoring on an infield hit, junior outfielder Aariel Alexander scoring on a hit and Braggs hit a two-run single that scored Lurry and Alexander.

In the Cowgirls half of the sixth, Western tied the game at 6-6 when junior catcher Gina Moore scored off an error and senior centerfielder Chantell Favors scored on a single. Cass Tech again took the lead when Traylor scored on a forced run. Western tied it back up at 7-7 when junior shortstop Altza Rodriguez scored on a bases-loaded walk. However, Cass Tech scored the clincher in their half of the seventh when junior outfielder Keonna Gray scored on an infield hit by Braggs to punch their ticket to UDM on Friday.

“I thought it took a lot to get going,” said Cass Tech head coach Julie Schneider. “We fought to the end.

“We chipped away at the (Western) lead. The girls just fought hard and were willing to play.”

“It was an exciting game,” said Western head coach Don Wolan. “We stayed in the game to the end. Both teams kept battling.

“In a nutshell, l think we’re still learning the game.”

Western will play Southeastern in the consolation May 18 game at UDM at 2 p.m. Renaissance and Cass Tech will play for the PSL Championship at 4 p.m., also at UDM.


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