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June 17, 2014

Wroubel praises 2014 team for record-setting season on the softball field

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Girls on the Prep softball team look out to the field during their quarterfinal loss to Ladywood. The season came to a close June 10 in a 7-1 setback.

PONTIAC — One game may have ended the season, but it certainly won’t define it.

That’s the message Pontiac Notre Dame Prep softball coach Betty Wroubel had following her team’s exit from the Division 2 state playoffs last week.

“There was way too much good this year to look back and let that game define us,” Wroubel said. “These girls were so self-motivated. They pushed each other. It was an old-school team that just went out and did the job. That’s why it was so tough to see it end.”

The end officially came June 10 in a 7-1 loss to Livonia Ladywood.

“They (Ladywood) were the better team that day,” Wroubel said. “We went into the game believing we could win, knowing we had a chance, but they were better.”

The downfall, according to Wroubel, arose early.

Prep loaded the bases in the first inning but came away completely empty-handed.

“That was pretty critical,” Wroubel said. “We had a letdown after that.”

Ladywood took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, then exploded for six runs in the fifth — all of which were unearned.

“Coming back from seven down was just too much,” Wroubel said. “We got one run that next inning, which was nice to see, but getting seven against a team like that was going to be real tough.”

Ladywood marched on in the tourney, eventually losing in the final, but Prep had plenty to hold its head high about.

The girls finished the spring with a 33-8-1 record, which was the most wins in program history.

“I think it started in the offseason,” Wroubel said when asked when she thought this team could be so strong. “We had girls here working hard for a long time. Last year was the youth movement, where we took our lumps and really learned a lot. Coming into the year, we felt we’d be strong.”

“You just knew how special this group was,” she added. “Their level of focus, the way they came to practice. You could tell it was more than playing softball with these girls; they wanted to excel.”

The trip to the quarterfinals was just the forth ever for Prep.

As for the 33 wins and record-book entry?

“It’s a really good record,” Wroubel said. “That’s why I won’t let one game kind of sum up this season. We had some great wins this year. We improved just about every day. ... To set the record is also great. I mean, we’ve had some pretty darn good teams around here in the past.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.