Dowagiac rolls into semifinals

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
COLOMA -- It was all business for the Dowagiac varsity softball team as it dispatched St. Joseph in the Division 2 pre-district contest here Tuesday afternoon.
The Chieftains (37-2) scored twice in the first inning and then five times in the fourth en route to a 7-0 victory over the Lady Bears (27-11).
Stuppy singled to open the game and then moved to second when Brittney Reist laid down the sacrifice bunt. Mandy Parish then ripped a ball to shortstop, but the throw pulled the St. Joseph first baseman off the bag allowing the Chieftains to have runners at first and third with only one out.
Courtesy runner Sarah Luthringer then stole second and both scored on a single by Rachel Minikel.
What Dowagiac did in the fourth inning was just rip the ball off Gohlke, who kept the Chieftains in check earlier in the year.
Minikel singled to open the inning for Dowagiac. Amy Wood came on to pinch run and stole second and third. Kelly Tomczak singled up the middle to drive in Wood with the game's third run. Courtesy runner Brittany Winters swiped second and advanced to third on an infield single by Brianne Reist. Wood and Reist both scored on a double by Kim Luthringer.
Rachael Willis reached on a fielder's choice as she grounded to first base. Instead of taking the out, the Lady Bears tried to nail Luthringer at the plate and failed.
Willis, who advanced all the way to third, scored on a sacrifice fly by Jessica Nelson.
Tomczak went the distance for the Chieftains, allowing just three runs with nine strikeouts and four walks.
The Chieftains finished with seven hits, led by Minikel's two singles and two RBIs. Luthringer doubled and drove in two runs.
Dowagiac, ranked No. 2 in Division 2, now advances to face Niles at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. In the other semifinal, set for 11 a.m., defending district champion Lakeshore will face host Coloma. The winners advance to the final at 4 p.m.

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