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Jags fall in state quarterfinals PHOTO GALLERY

  • Allen Park freshman Hailey Genaw makes contact on a swing during the state quarterfinals held at UM's Wilpon Complex. Photo gallery by Ricky Lindsay.
The Jaguars had all the energy and momentum going into Tuesday’s MHSAA state quarterfinals and an early lead and strong defensive plays looked promising.

But a rough fourth inning proved to be too much to come back from and Allen Park fell 10-2 to Portage Central.

The Jags got on board in their first at bat and held the lead for almost two innings.

Kailey Littleton smacked the ball and was called safe in a close call at first base. Three batters later, Miranda Hebert smacked one of her own and a bobble by the Portage Central right fielder put Hebert on second and Littleton went scurrying home.

Portage Central went three-up, three-down in the second, as did the Jags before Portage tied it up in the third.

An out of the park homerun tied the game and that momentum carried over to a six-run fourth inning for Portage.

A few Allen Park errors, some nice bunting and a few other key offensive plays gave the Mustangs an 8-1 lead after four.

The doubles and bunts continued in the fifth and although Sammi Howell relieved Hebert in the circle, Portage Central still led 9-1 after the frame.

Allen Park had a burst of offensive momentum when Hailey Lazarek came across the plate in the bottom of the sixth, but three outs in the next three batters stopped any Jaguar threat.

The Mustangs capped their scoring in the top of the seventh with a double that plated the final run.

“I’m not disappointed at all,” Allen Park Coach Patsy Curnell said about the effort. “We earned it here.

“I’m proud of the effort and I’m proud of Miranda’s pitching and Sammi did a great job coming in.”

Curnell said she knew her team had a tough inning and no one person was to blame.

“They’re a power-hitting team and they put the ball in play and they executed,” she said. “So that’s the difference.

“We put the ball in play too, and just didn’t catch a couple breaks. We won as a team and we lose as a team.”

Curnell said she was especially pleased with the way her girls clicked at the end of the season, winning the regional crown and advancing to the quarter finals.

“I’m feeling good,” she said. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to be anywhere near here.

“We came together as a team and really felt that it was unity that did it. You’re gonna win with unity and you’re gonna lose with unity.”

Allen Park will return many young players to the field next season, including Hebert back for her final outing in a Jaguar uniform.

“That’s positive when you’re got that coming back after you make the state quarterfinals,” Curnell said. “We’re gonna be back and they’ve just gotta take this feeling and know that you earned to be here and know what it feels like so you don’t go through it again.”





Last Updated: 6/11/2014 1:24:45 AM EST

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