Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s softball team won what coach Ted Alpert thinks is the program’s first regional championship in approximately eight years with a 5-0 win against Westland Huron Valley Lutheran School in a Division 4 contest June 8 at Liggett.
The win allowed the Knights to advance to the quarterfinals, where they were scheduled to face Concord at Adrian College June 11, after press time.
Earlier in the day, Liggett defeated Wixom St. Catherine of Siena 1-0 in its regional
Ashley Tengler pitched both games for Liggett, and along with his squad’s defense, Alpert expressed his appreciation for what he saw from his senior pitcher.
“Our pitcher came through with 14 scoreless innings,” he said following the game. “She showed a lot of character. Three days ago, she showed up to practice sick. She battled back from her cold. She’s the MIAC (Michigan Independent Athletic Conference) MVP.”
Following the game, Tengler offered some thoughts on Liggett’s postseason run.
“I knew I had my teammates behind me,” she said. “I was very confident in their ability. If I was not on my game, then they would have my back. This is the furthest we’ve gotten since I’ve been here. It was real exciting (to) finally come to regionals when they were hosted at our house and win.”
While there are likely a lot of factors that play into winning a regional championship, Alpert cited an early spring road trip as one of the reasons his team was able to accomplish that feat.
“This year, our spring break trip in Florida was particularly brutal. We had no days off the seven days we were down there, and put in our time. It’s paying off here.”
If Liggett is to reach the level of success Alpert wants for his program, the Knights’ trip to the regional finals this season won’t be a rare occurrence.
“In building this program, our sort of long-term goals are, we’re in the regional final every year,” he said. “This is the first time we got there, and that’s where we (want to) be. That’s our definition of success.”
The quarterfinal winner advances to the state semifinals, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. June 14 at Bailey Park in Battle Creek. The D-4 state final is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. June 15, also at Bailey Park in Battle Creek.