Lady Vikes, ‘Cats and Bucks begin districts

Published 3:59 am Saturday, June 4, 2005

By By SCOTT NOVAK and ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Defending district champion Brandywine will be looking to win its seventh consecutive Division 3 title today as the Bobcats face Bridgman for the second semifinal game today held at Berrien Springs High School.
The Lady Bobcats (27-8) won their seventh straight Lakeland Conference title earlier this month.
Brandywine, ranked No. 4 in Division 3, will come into the tournament as the favorite, however, Lakeland Conference foe Buchanan could provide the Lady Bobcats with their most serious challenge.
The Lady Bucks are 25-12 on the season and have won 14 out of their last 18 games including this past weekend's Bronson Invitational.
The Bucks fell to Niles on Tuesday 10-4, but will have a chance to rebound today as they face River Valley for the opening game of the semifinals.
Brandywine is led by junior pitcher Kelli Zache, who is 22-6 on the season.
Zache is also the Lady Bobcats' top offensive threat with a .388 batting average and 20 RBIs.
Sister, freshman Kendra Zache is hitting .348. Also hitting over .300 for Brandywine are Amanda Grice (.303) and Dee Echevarria (.302).
Buchanan is led by pitcher Ashley Pointer who is 22-10 with an earned run average of 1.30.
Offensively the Lady Bucks are led by Emily Ross who is hitting .360.
The finals for todays games is set for 1 p.m.
Division 2
Niles received a bye and will take on defending Division 2 state champion Lakeshore at 10 a.m. today at Lakeshore High School.
The Lady Vikings are 11-23 on the season and will have to work extra hard if they want to win against the Lancers.
Niles dropped a pair of decisions to Lakeshore during the regular season.
Niles is led by Kate Whittaker who is hitting .425 with 20 RBIs. Other top offensive performers are Julie Kater (.344) and Stephanee Schrader (.322). Schrader has 21 RBIs on the season.
Kater is the Lady Vikings' top pitcher and is currently 7-15 on the mound.
Dowagiac will play Edwardsburg at 12 p.m. for the second game of semifinals
The Chieftains, ranked No. 6 in Division 2, has defeated every team in the tourmament twice with the exception of Edwardsburg, which they have not faced.
Dowagiac is led by pitcher Brittney Reist who is 13-2 on the season with an ERA of 0.88. Offensively, the Chieftains are paced by All-State catcher Mandy Parish who is hitting .405 with 28 RBIs.
The winners of the two semifinal games will play in the championship game set to begin at 2 p.m.