BATTLE CREEK, Mich (WLNS) – Owosso’s softball team is the only one still standing from our area teams who came into Tuesday night’s state quarterfinal round looking to keep their season alive in the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs. After a ten-inning drama-filled Division 2 regional championship on Saturday, it was only fitting that the Trojans would test the respiratory health of all those in attendance at Bailey Park in Battle Creek.
Owosso’s star pitcher, Macy Irelan, pitched complete games in both the regional semifinal and regional championship on Saturday and finished with 33 strikeouts on the day. However, the first batter she saw tonight, Emma Tornes, got a hold of a pitch she liked and sent it over the center-field wall to make it 1-0 Wayland. The Wildcats would get two runs in the first inning but after that Irelan settled in and found her rhythm as she would go on to throw 15 strikeouts in this game.
Fast-forwarding to the bottom of the 7th inning, Owosso was trailed 4-2, with a runner on second base, and down to its final out when Madyson Rainey stepped up to the plate. A few pitches into the at-bat, Rainey made solid contact with a pitch high in the strike zone and launched it into the night sky, only for it to fall over the opposite side of the left-field wall for her first home run of the season. Rainey’s two-run home run tied the game 4-4, sending the game into extra innings.
Then in the bottom of the 8th inning with a runner on second base, Neveah Ginger hit a ball into right field that got down for a hit and gave plenty of time for Jamie Maier to come home from second base for the winning run as the Owosso walked it off, 5-4.
After another dramatic win, we had to ask Macy Irelan and head coach, JoEllen Smith, how it felt to have another huge comeback victory.
“I don’t know how to describe the feeling of just at the last second, a miracle happens and…it’s incredible,” said Irelan.
“This team is something special, they really are,” said Smith. “I’ve got some young kids, a couple freshman that are gonna be good my sophomores but the senior right now are leading us so…it’s fun.”
The Trojans have now made school history twice in last four days, winning their first regional championship and state quarterfinal. Owosso will look to continue to make school history as the Trojans move on to state semifinal game against Gaylord on Thursday at Michigan State’s Secchia Stadium, first pitch is set for 10 a.m.