Walled Lake Northern’s softball program continues to climb to new heights as it won its first Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) and Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) district championships last week.
The Knights (23-7) began the week with an 8-0 shutout victory at Northville in the KLAA title game on Wednesday, June 1, after the game was postponed the week before because of rain.
Pitcher Kristina Weltzin not only picked up the win in the circle by not allowing an earned run for a fifth straight game, but also helped her own cause with a two-run home run in the second inning.
“Kristina might not be striking a lot of batters out, but she is keeping them guessing in the batter’s box,” said Northern Head Coach Mark Grattan.
Caitlyn Kelley also hit 3-for-4 on the day while Weltzin, Kari Knight and Danielle Marzetti each hit 2-for-4.
“It was not a blow-out game as the score indicates. Northville had runners at third base four times. That’s when our defense stepped up,” Grattan said. “Megan Jerore made two great catches on hard line drives with runners in scoring position. Mackensey Lakian and Jaclyn Parvin made outstanding catches in the outfield and held the runners where they were.”
Northern then looked to parlay its KLAA success in the MHSAA district tournament at South Lyon on Saturday, June 4.
The Knights began the day with a 6-3 victory over host South Lyon in a district semi-final, setting up a meeting with Walled Lake Central in the district final.
Northern then triumphed over the Vikings, 8-2, to claim its first district championship, a milestone moment for a program on the rise.
“We came to play right off the bat,” Grattan said. “We were relaxed and poised and played like champions. We have had a lot of firsts this year and I don’t think we’re done yet.”
Weltzin allowed five hits on the day but fanned six batters in the victory, while Corrina Rontondo gave up six hits and had 11 strikeouts on the day.
Kelley had 5 hits and 3 RBIs on the afternoon while Knight had 4 hits and 4 RBIs.
Sam Kern also had 4 hits and and a pair of RBIs. Lakian added 4 hits and an RBI of her own, while Weltzin had 3 hits and 2 RBIs.
“Kristen Socha and Rich Paul had everything in order for us. We could not have won without these two assistant coaches. They do our scouting so well,” Grattan said.
“I have six batters hitting over .400 right now,” he added. “We will hit the ball but it is our defense that will win games for us.”
Northern will next play in an MHSAA regional semi-final game against North Farmington on Saturday, June 11 at Novi, with the winner advancing to the regional final that same day against either Canton or Birmingham Groves.