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Jays gear up for rematch vs. Millington in D3 quarterfinals WITH GALLERY

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It’s cliché.

Good pitching beats good hitting every time, right?

Well, there are instances where this long-standing belief doesn’t hold up.

For instance, on Saturday from Clare’s Brookwood Athletic Complex, the Shepherd softball team put on an offensive display that definitely went against convention. As it was the Jays hammered out 13 hits and posted eight runs in an 8-7 Division 3 regional final victory over a very-good Beaverton team. They overcame an early 4-0 deficit and pounded the ball all around the yard against a pitcher that had over 30 wins on the season and a sub 1.00 ERA in Faith Howe.

With that victory the Jays (26-18) locked up a second-straight appearance in the D3 quarterfinal round where they will square off against Millington at 3 p.m. Tuesday from Saginaw Valley State University. One year ago the Cardinals eked out a 1-0 win over the Jays in the quarterfinal round. But that was then and this is now.

“Our offense has been the key all season, we don’t get cheated at the plate and I remind my team of that at least 30 times a game,” said Shepherd coach Bobb Servoss. “When we hit the ball hard we win so that’s the plan Tuesday.”

Coming in the Jays will likely have to face another solid pitcher in Millington’s Gabby Sherman. Sherman has set Millington’s single-season wins record in 2017 and will be a formidable challenge. But the same was true Saturday with Howe.

“Our attitude is attack and when we’re on our offense can score runs in a hurry,” said Servoss, whose team has outscored its opponents 49-15 in the postseason.

Ashleigh Bryant, who went 6-for-7 Saturday, leads the Jays with a .504 batting average and 53 RBIs. Adri Nelson is also hitting .456 with 30 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Hannah Cluley is also hitting at a .368 clip with 32 runs scored while Kianna Andrews has driven in 23 and scored 48 runs. While these numbers might seem a little gaudy they speak to Shepherd’s strength which is hitting the ball with authority from one through nine.

“I know a little about Millington, but our concern is ourselves,” said Servoss. “If we hit like we know how to we’re going to have a good chance of winning. It’s that simple.”

Last Updated: 6/12/2017 2:42:32 PM EST