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St. Clair outlasts Marysville in pitcher's dual for district crown WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Marysville and St. Clair didn’t disappoint in the District 63 title game at Marine City Saturday.

In a game that felt like a battle of who would blink first, it was a bloop single that made the difference.

Kayle Cole delivered a one-out RBI single in the top of the fourth, scoring Olivia Young and lifting the Saints to a 1-0 victory over the Vikings and a district championship.

“We’ve played really good defense, pitching’s been excellent and we get the hits when we need to,” St. Clair head coach Kevin Mahn said. “It’s not how you win, it’s if you win.

“If we play solid defense and we keep getting the defense we’re getting, we’re going to be OK.”

Outside of the run scored in the middle innings, the pitcher’s duel between St. Clair’s Alexis Churchill and Marysville’s Paige Ameel lived up to the billing.

Churchill earned the victory, surrendering three hits in the complete-game shutout. She struck out seven and walked one.

“She was so nervous before the game, I thought she was going to throw up,” Mahn said. “She settled down, and she’s such a competitor.”

Ameel was almost equally as impressive, yielding the one run on five hits over seven innings. She struck out six and walked one.

“We have to limit our mistakes,” Mahn said regarding playing in a matchup of high-caliber pitchers. “It can be one mistake, and it can cost you the game.

“They’re really focused; they wanted this really bad. They’ve been focused all year.”

Churchill went 1 for 4 with a double out of the leadoff spot for St. Clair; Young went 1 for 3, with a double, and a run scored. Cole finished with two singles and an RBI.

Ashlee Will reached base twice and went 1 for 3 for Marysville in the loss, but never got beyond first base. Lydia Sawdon reached second on an error after her first-inning single, but was the lone Viking to reach scoring position.

“That’s what it’s like in the postseason; every pitch and every out is of the most importance,” Marysville head coach Ryan Rathje said. “You’ve just got to respond. We got people on base, we just couldn’t move them anywhere.

“Give St. Clair credit. Churchill did a great job pitching, their lineup is just tough all the way through and they’re very-well coached. We wish them well the rest of their run.”

St. Clair will head to the Region 16 semifinal, against Detroit Country day, Saturday at Marysville. First pitch is slated for noon.

Last Updated: 6/3/2017 9:45:48 PM EST