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Howell ekes out dramatic win over Northern, in battle of top 10 teams WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)
  • No. 9-ranked Howell squeaked out a 5-4 win over No. 4 Walled Lake Northern in a KLAA crossover game on Friday, April 28, 2017, winning on a bases-loaded single by Sydney Pezzoni in the bottom of the seventh. (MIPrepZone photo by Matthew B. Mowery)

KLAA proving to be one of toughest conferences around

HOWELL >> For softball teams in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association right now, making it through conference play each week is like running a gauntlet.

Shoot, some weeks, it’s probably easier for some of them when they get to the weekend, and can play non-conference opponents, and not get beat up so much.

Coming off a crazy 11-7 game against Division 1 honorable mention Lakeland, in which they took their first loss, all the No. 9-ranked Howell Highlanders had to do was turn around 24 hours later, and host No. 4 Walled Lake Northern.

“And I was happy to get two out of three out of those,” Howell coach Ron Pezzoni said of his week leading up to Friday’s rain makeup crossover from two weeks earlier, which included a doubleheader sweep of Grand Blanc to start it.

He was happy at the end of the evening, too, when his daughter, Sydney, drove in the game-winning run with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Highlanders a 5-4 victory.

It was a third conference loss for Northern (6-3 overall, 5-3 KLAA North), which has lost once to each of its chief competitors in the North Division — coaches poll honorable mentions Waterford Kettering and Lakeland.

“I try to play a really tough schedule, and when you do that, you’re going to lose some to good teams,” said Northern coach Kristen Woodard, acknowledging that — in theory, at least — the rough in-conference schedule should make KLAA teams just that much better come the postseason. “It does us better to lose some games now, to good teams, than to beat up on teams that maybe aren’t as good.”

Those are hard to find in the KLAA, especially in the Lakes Conference.

In the most recent Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association poll, four of the top 10 in Division 1 are KLAA teams — Plymouth (3), Northern (4), Howell (9) and South Lyon (10) — while six more of the 21 honorable mention squads — Canton, Hartland, Lakeland, Milford, Salem and Kettering — are also from the conference.

And that’s not even mentioning Division 2 honorable mention South Lyon East.

So there are going to be plenty of games like Friday’s, where the lead changed three times in seven innings, and was settled on a walk-off hit.

The Knights scored once in each of the first two innings — on an RBI single by Jaycee Lohr in the first, and in the second on the back end of a first-third delayed steal — to take a 2-1 lead, then stretched it to 3-1 with a run on Sam Harris’ RBI groundout in the fifth.

Howell’s all-state designated player, Jordan Humitz, put the Highlanders ahead, 4-3, with a two-run homer in Howell’s three-run fifth inning, but Northern tied it back up, 4-4, in the top of the next frame, when Ashley Komosinski drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Knights left the bases loaded twice in the game, and two on in two other innings against Howell freshman Molly Carney.

“We had our chances, we just needed to get that key hit, and we didn’t,” Woodard said. “The name of the game is to get the key hits, and we didn’t.”

The Highlanders were not as forgiving, loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh on an infield single, then a double that burned the Northern outfield. A walk filled the bases for Sydney Pezzoni, and she delivered a single up the middle to plate the winning run, ending the game.

Last Updated: 4/28/2017 10:34:52 PM EST


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