Softball: Dreadnaughts fall to Hartland in District finals after knocking off Howell

The Dexter softball team faced a monumental task over the weekend as the Dreadnaughts played host to one of the strongest District tournaments in the state. And the Dreads came within a run of pulling off not a miracle, but something pretty amazing.

The Dexter District featured two of the top five teams in the state in Howell and Hartland. And coming into the postseason with a 26-8 record, the Dreadnaughts were certainly at that level and did they ever prove it on Saturday.

Dexter knocked out Howell 2-0 in Saturday’s semifinal game to earn a trip to the finals. Hartland defeated Pinckney 4-0 in the other semifinal to reach the championship game.

The championship game lived up to all the hype and then some. After five scoreless innings, Dexter took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Livvy Mellifont drove home Emma Sortor with the game’s first run.

The Dreadnaughts were three outs away from sweeping Howell and Hartland. But in the top of the seventh, Hartland tied the game and then took a 2-1 lead on a single by Breanna Patzer.

The Dreadnaughts could not get the equalizer in the bottom of the seventh and Hartland advanced to the Regionals.

Sortor went 2-for-2 including a double for Dexter. Mellifont and Sam Sutton also had hits.

Sam Sutton was brilliant in the circle for Dexter. She allowed just six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.

Sutton was even better in the opener as she shut down a strong Howell offense. She threw a three-hitter with six strikeouts and again no walks – which is amazing in itself. Sutton threw 75 pitches in the first game and 90 in game two.

Dexter managed only three hits and struck out 10 times against Howell’s ace Avrey Wolverton. But the Dreadnaughts scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning.

Mellifont, Brenna Cassidy and Kylee Niswonger (triple) each collected one hit to lead Dexter. The Dreadnaughts didn’t commit a single error in the field. Jenna Wagenschutz had the most chances in the field with six.

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