08-01-2018 Tri-City Area Sports

Press Box relives Top Five Moments in Sports; shares changes on the horizon

Each summer, I take the opportunity to relive the year in our local sports and select five of the biggest moments that were the most impactful on the community and players. The column celebrates my anniversary of writing the Press Box column, my love of sports, and my continued appreciation for the hard work of our local athletes.

The 2017-18 season was rife with fantastic plays, standout athletes, and incredible coaching calls, so it’s hard to whittle the list down to the top five moments.

But, once again, the cream of the crop rose to the top. Without further ado, here are the five top moments in Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet’s 2017-18 sports seasons.

Top Sports Moment of 2017-18

The highlight of the year, not just for Coloma but the entire Tri-City Area, was the school’s varsity softball team’s come-from-behind victory in the Division 3 Michigan High School Athletic Association’s state finals.

Coloma’s team was rock solid this year – from Morgan Wagner behind the plate to Kayla Yore in centerfield to the lethal pitching duo of Skylar Crisenbery and Jaidyn Hutsell. Add to that mix the impressive batting of lefty Megan Koenigshof, as well as her speed once aboard the bases, and the Lady Comets proved to be unstoppable.

TOP MOMENT OF 2017-18 SPORTS… The members of the Coloma varsity softball squad brought home the school’s first Michigan High School Athletic Association state title in the sport following a 7-6 win over Millington in June. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

The Comets rolled to a 12-0 undefeated record in division play, including six shutouts, which gave them the Southwestern Athletic Conference SAC championship.  The squad then topped all challengers in district play, defeating Bloomingdale, Watervliet, and Hartford for the crown.

Coloma chalked up an 11-0 shutout over Jonesville and 5-1 victory over Constantine to hoist the regional trophy hardware.

The ladies enjoyed a 14-0 five-inning cakewalk over Stanton Central Montcalm in state quarterfinals action and found themselves two steps from a state title on the diamond. What followed would be two intense games culminating in one impressive result.

In state semi-finals, the #2 ranked Comets faced Clinton and went on to win the contest by a score of 5-1. With that victory in hand, Coloma headed into a battle royal against Millington at Secchia Stadium on the campus of Michigan State.

Coloma kicked off the game with one run in the first inning; the Comets held that lead until Millington tied the game in the third.

Millington put up four big runs in the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. Coloma soared back with three runs in the top of the sixth to close in 5-4. But, Millington tossed in another run in their half of the sixth to lead 6-4.

It was the top of the seventh and Comet fans’ anxiety was running high. Coloma scored three times in the inning and held the door closed on Millington in the bottom of the seventh to win the game 7-6.

It was euphoric. It was pandemonium. It was one of those moments where your heart is in your throat. You swear your will alone could propel the Comets to the title. You wanted those young ladies to succeed. You feared the devastation that would follow a loss. You gave thanks as the players surrounded each other, then gathered at the fence and belted out the Coloma fight song. Hail, oh hail, indeed.