Chieftains win crown

Published 1:59 am Monday, April 21, 2003

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
COLOMA -- For the first time in two years the Dowagiac varsity softball team brought home an invitational championship.
After being shut out last year, Dowagiac made it 1-1 in tournaments by winning the Coloma Invitational on Saturday.
Dowagiac toppled the host Comets in the championship game, 5-1, to improve its season record to 7-1.
Dowagiac defeated Hudsonville Unity Christian, 9-2, and Comstock, 3-0, in pool play to reach the championship game.
Coloma won its pool by defeating Kalamazoo Loy Norrix and Niles.
In the championship game, Kelly Tomczak and Jenna Stuppy combined on a two-hitter. Stuppy picked up the victory as she worked the final four innings, striking out seven. Tomczak, who tossed a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Comstock, allowed one run on one hit in the title contest against the Lady Comets. Tomczak struck out three.
Stuppy was named MVP of pool play for the Chieftains. She picked up the victory over Unity Christian as she allowed five hits while striking out seven.
Stuppy also had a great day at the plate as she led off the championship game with a solo home run. Against Comstock Stuppy homered and singled twice. She had two hits against Unity Christian.
Rachel Minikel also had a great day at the plate for the Chieftains as she established a new school record for career home runs.
Minikel homered against Comstock and Coloma to improve her career total to six. Minikel, who had a two-out, two-run home run against the Comets, also doubled in the title game. Minikel had a double against Unity Christian as well.
Dowagiac finished with seven hits against Coloma's Helena Zandarski, who took the loss despite nine strikeouts.
Kim Luthringer had a pair of singles for the Chieftains in the title game.
In the Comstock contest, Dowagiac finished with seven hits.
The Chieftains scored two runs in the third inning against the Lady Colts as Stuppy singled and moved to second on a sacrifice by Rachael Willis. Brittney Reist reached base on an error by the Comstock first baseman, however, the Lady Colts kept Stuppy from scoring as she was cut down at the plate.
Minikel followed with a two-run home run.
In the tournament opener, Dowagiac scored twice in the first and third innings and then four times in the fifth to break open the close contest. The Chieftains completed the scoring with a run in the sixth.
Reist and Tomczak both doubled and singled for the Chieftains. Minikel added a double. Stuppy had two singles.
Dowagiac is now 7-1 heading into today's non-league doubleheader against visiting Buchanan. The first game is slated to begin at 4 p.m.
Dowagiac 311 000 0 -- 5 7 1
Coloma 001 000 0 -- 1 2 1
Kelly Tomczak, Jenna Stuppy (W, 4-1); Helena Zandarski (L)
2B: Rachel Minikel (D)
HR: Rachel Minikel (D), Jenna Stuppy (D)
Second Game
Comstock 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1
Dowagiac 102 000 x -- 3 7 0
Kelly Tomczak (W, 3-0); Jager (C)
HR: Jenna Stuppy (D), Rachel Minikel (D)
First Game
Unity Christian 010 100 0 -- 2 5 2
Dowagiac 202 041 x -- 9 9 0
Jenna Stuppy (W, 3-1); Gruppen (L)
2B: Brittney Reist (D), Rachel Minikel (D), Kelly Tomczak (D), Booth (UC), Gruppen (UC)