TRAVERSE CITY — Mike Doriot racked up his 500th career softball coaching victory Saturday when Traverse City St. Francis defeated Central Lake 1-0 in the championship game of the St. Francis Invitational.
All 500 wins have come in 18 years with the Gladiators, and all three victories Saturday were shutouts.
But all Doriot wanted to talk about was the game, which the Gladiators pulled out by the slimmest of margins. Olivia Hardy singled in the fifth inning and later scored from second on a Julia Hardy single up the middle.
“It was an exciting game,” Doriot said. “They had their 3-4-5 hitters up in the last inning and two of them hit home runs in their last game. They hit a couple high fly balls that almost gave me a heart attack.”
Gabby Morgan struck out nine in a three-hit effort as the game turned into a pitcher’s duel. Central Lake’s Alexis Carpenter struck out 11 and gave up just one run.
“That’s the best pitcher we’ve faced this year,” Doriot said of Carpenter.
The Glads earned a championship berth with a 10-0 win over Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s and an 8-0 decision against Traverse City Christian.
Morgan struck out six and tossed a one-hitter against Lake Leelanau, adding two hits of her own. Julia Hardy and Abby Coger also had two hits each.
Lauren Cvengros pitched a no-hitter against Christian, fanning nine. Alecia Soto, Megan Knudsen and Julia Hardy each drove in runs.
St. Francis (11-0) travels Tuesday to Boyne City.
Glads win loaded tournament in G.R.
Traverse City St. Francis was one of five ranked teams playing in the Grand Rapids North Pointe Christian Invitational, but the only one to earn the top-heavy championship.
The Gladiators are ranked No. 3 in Division 4, but were joined by fellow top-10 teams Lansing Catholic (No. 5), Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart (No. 6) and North Muskegon (No. 10). Williamstown was also in the Week 1 top 10, but was replaced by Harbor Springs in last week’s rankings.