Friday, June 7, 2013

Oakland County Regional Softball Predictions

Rochester Regional
Teams -- Troy, Romeo, Hartland, Lake Orion
Breakdown -- It's hard to pick against Romeo, which has Taylor Weaver, who has been one of the state's most dominating pitchers over the course of the past couple of years, but it won't be any easy task for Romeo to get past a tough Troy in the first game of the regional. Troy has plenty of balance throughout its lineup and the Colts have a pitcher, Taylor Schmidt, who recently threw a no-hitter in the district final and went head-to-head with another top pitcher in Haley Zemmer and came out on top. In the second game, there is another interesting pitching match-up between Hartland senior Abbie Minsker and Lake Orion freshman Sierra Gonzales. Minsker has been dominant all year long, while Gonzales has flown under the radar, while quietly emerged as one of the top aces in the OAA. I've gone back and forth between all four teams in this district and any of these teams has a legitimate shot at playing in the quarterfinals next week.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Troy 2, Romeo 1
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Lake Orion 3, Hartland 2
Regional Final Prediction: Lake Orion 4, Troy 2 (in 9 innings)

Novi Regional
Teams -- Birmingham Marian, South Lyon, Farmington Hills Mercy, Plymouth Canton
Breakdown -- This regional is Mercy's to lose, the Marlins are without a doubt the most complete team in the region and the Marlins can change the outlook of a game with one swing of the bat as the Marlins are cementing themselves as one of, if not the best power-hitting team in MHSAA history. Mercy can't overlook Canton, who played spoiler in the district final as it upset rival Plymouth and will could have to face Marian once again in the final, or a very experienced South Lyon squad. The first game between Marian and South Lyon will be interesting to see if the young Mustangs, which have a number of freshman on the team who are significant contributors can keep up with a South Lyon team that did plenty of damage in the KLAA this year and are ready to make a statement.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: South Lyon 7, Birmingham Marian 6
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Farmington Hills Mercy 7, Plymouth Canton 2
Regional Final Prediction: Farmington Hills Mercy 9, South Lyon 2

Bloomfield Hills Andover Regional
Teams -- Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Clawson, St. Clair, Richmond
Breakdown -- Notre Dame Prep has simply been a completely different team since Carly Joseph rejoined the Irish as she's shown that she hasn't missed a step since returning after missing part of the season. While Joseph has proven to be a force in the circle and at the plate in the district playoffs, as she allowed no earned runs in 13 innings on Saturday, while helping pace the Irish offense in a semifinal win over Cranbrook, topping St. Clair will be no easy task of the Irish want to advance to the quarterfinals. St. Clair will counter Notre Dame Prep's dual threat menace with one of their own in Brittany Schweiger, who is one of the best in the state when it comes to pitching and hitting, but I expect this regional final to be way closer than what most expect it to be.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Notre Dame Prep 4, Clawson 0
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: St. Clair 6, Richmond 1
Regional Final Prediction: Notre Dame Prep 5, St. Clair 4 (in 10 innings)

Madison Heights Bishop Foley Regional
Teams -- Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, Detroit Henry Ford, Allen Park Cabrini, Grass Lake
Breakdown -- There have been few teams who have bounced back better than Lutheran Northwest has this season, the Crusaders started the season with a disappointing 2-9 record, but have surged back as they have put together a 12-3 record in the second half of the season, which will likely help lead them past Henry Ford in the first game. But the winner of Cabrini and Grass Lake will probably end up being the regional champion as both teams have top 10 rankings in the state and are two of the most balanced teams around.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Lutheran Northwest 8, Henry Ford 4
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: Allen Park Cabrini 5, Grass Lake 2
Regional Final Prediction: Allen Park Cabrini 7, Lutheran Northwest 2

Auburn Hills Oakland Christian Regional
Teams -- Portland St. Patrick, Webberville, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, New Lothrup
Breakdown -- This regional will come down to the Laker's pitching, because there is no question that they can hit and produce runs with some of the best teams in the area. Much like the baseball regional, there isn't a clear cut favorite to come out of this regional as all four teams have put been very solid, but not dominant over the course of the last couple of months, which means this regional is wide open. The difference that will tip the scales in Lakes' favor will be senior Abby Kline, who has shown that she can take over a game and shut down opposing hitting attacks, and that should be the difference on Saturday.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Portland St. Patrick 6, Webberville 4
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: WOLL 5, New Lothrup 1
Regional Final Prediction: WOLL 4, Portland St. Patrick 0

Grosse Point Woods University of Liggett Regional
Teams -- Allen Park Inter-City Baptist, Westland Huron Valley, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, Wixom St. Catherine
Breakdown -- Last week was obviously a special one for Wixom St. Catherine and without a doubt is the best story in high school sports right now. After finishing the season with a 17-5 record, Wixom St. Catherine flew under the radar and pulled off a bit of a surprise by winning a district title in the team's first year by upsetting Royal Oak Shrine in the district final. But the semifinal game on Saturday will be a very difficult task facing Wixom St. Catherine as it will play regional host Liggett, which finished the season as a top five team in the state. Liggett is without a doubt the favorite to come out of this region, considering its high ranking in the state, but if junior hurler Mary Greene can keep Wixom St. Catherine in the game with the Knights, there could be another surprise in the making.
Regional Semifinal Prediction #1: Inter-City Baptist 7, Huron Valley 3
Regional Semifinal Prediction #2: GPW Liggett, 4, Wixom St. Catherine 2
Regional Final Prediction: GPW Liggett 6, Inter-City Baptist 3

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