FARMINGTON HILLS – When you’ve seen 1000 games from the dugout you start to get an idea of when the lug nuts might come loose on the wheels and when those wheels might start to wobble.
North Farmington coach Dave Brubaker, who indeed coached his 1,000th game earlier this season, his 36th in charge of the Raiders, knew that even before the start of the final round of the tournament on Saturday.
The North Farmington Invitational championship game – where the host Raiders had not been in several years – was a two-run affair for the first four innings, despite the Raiders being beaten 19-3 by Saturday. opponent, No. 5 Woodhaven, in a scrimmage on their first day away from the gym this spring.
But the Warriors (19-1) widened Saturday’s 2-1 lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in the fifth, and were on track to stretch it further when the game hit the limit. of time in the sixth, with Woodhaven. leading the Raiders, 8-1.
“You can kind of (say), you know. We make a game, we stand. We don’t make the game now, the next person doesn’t make the game. And then it’s like a domino effect. And that’s the game. If you make the games it’s a little bit easier for the next one I guess,” Brubaker said, admitting that kind of snowball effect is the flip side of the coin with a young team. “They (mistakes) will really rear their ugly heads sometimes, you know, but I’ll tell you, I’m really happy with my kids. I mean, with what we accomplished today. We tangled these guys for the first time out of the gym and we’re down 19-3. I mean, we were pathetic. Drop flying balls, throw them, I didn’t know what. I could not do anything. Today we didn’t put the bat on the ball as much as I would have liked. But we started doing it and, you know, we got a run, we held them – it was 2-1 at what, the fifth inning? It is a learning experience. But I told the girls I said no one blew us up. We could have lost (8-1) in six sets. But it wasn’t you know, 18 to nothing, you know.
Brubaker’s Raiders (9-6) won the league game with victories over Waterford Kettering (11-0) and OAA rivals White Berkley (8-2) in pool play. The Bears beat Kettering 16-4 in their game.
At Farmington High, Woodhaven beat Waterford Mott (14-0), West Bloomfield (19-0) and Farmington (11-1) in pool, extending their winning streak to 16 games – the vast majority of which were blowouts.
Coach Kenneth Kroll was therefore delighted to have a game against the Raiders, to challenge his side in Monday’s huge Downriver League game against No 1 Allen Park – the only team to beat the Warriors so far. now this season.
“That’s what the girls needed. They need to be pushed. And I’m glad North Farmington has improved from the start of the season. They competed and they improved. And that’s what these girls need, to be pushed. So, you know, Monday is our big Monday, right? Against the No. 1 team in the state down to our league rivals,” Kroll said. “But that’s where it really counts. And we’re going to be pushed a bit more there. So I expect these girls to step in to take care of business.
Sophomore Grace Usher took care of business against the Raiders, allowing just one run on two hits, striking out nine and walking one. North Farmington’s only point came in the fourth, when Lindsey Dorfman led off with a brace and scored on a Kelly Simpson groundout.
Woodhaven got one in the first set, on doubles from Lindsey Marlewitz and Usher, then made it 2-0 on an RBI double from Emma Kaiser in the second. Three singles in the space of four batters — by Usher, Alaina Craig and Kaiser — scored two more runs to make it 4-1, then the Warriors scored four more runs in the sixth, three before the Raiders retired the first. The match reached its time limit just after Craig’s RBI single made it 8-1.
Like the Warriors, North Farmington returns to the league this week, with doubleheaders against West Bloomfield and Birmingham Groves. It was in Game 2 of an OAA White doubleheader against Troy on April 28 when Brubaker coached his 1,000th game for the Raiders.
Did he ever think he would be there to see four digit numbers?
“The only reason I wouldn’t be here is if they fired me. I love the game. And I’ve played the game for 30 years and it’s just, you know, I love doing it. That’s why I do it. I bring in younger guys. I can appreciate that they want to help, and now I’m going to be 67 next month. I want you to know, let them start — give them a little more responsibility and stuff,” Brubaker said. “They ask ‘When are you going to retire?’ When there is no more pleasure. It’s always fun. I mean, I’m intense. A lot of people say, ‘You’re intense.’ I say, ‘That’s how I used to play ball. That’s how I learned to play ball. And that’s how I train the ball. And I want my kids to know that I’m here to make them better ballplayers, not tear them apart. Of course you’ll understand, you’ll hear about it, if you don’t do what I expect of you.
NORTH FARMINGTON 8, BERKLEY 2
The Raiders built up a 6-0 lead with three runs apiece in the second and third innings, trading a two-run fourth for Berkley’s runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Grace Salley helped her own cause with an RBI single in the second, while Lily O’Neill’s RBI double was the blow in the third. Hannah Hart and Corina Carillo both had RBI singles in the fourth.
RBI defenseman pick of Grace Felliott with the bases loaded got Berkley on the board in fifth, then Mia Hubbell hosted Hart’s relief stint with a starting triple in fifth, scoring on an RBI single from Ella Schneider.
BERKLEY 16, WATERFORD KETTERING 4 (5 hostel)
Mia Hubbell was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and three RBIs for the Bears, Ella Schneider had a single and a double and drove in two runs, while Haleigh Schall was 3 for 4 with a double, three RBIs and two runs marked. Brooke Schall had two doubles, three RBIs and scored three runs, while Brooke Bommarito had a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored, and struck out seven in five innings of work in the circle.
Abby Hayward hit a slug-loaded single in the fourth as Kettering scored three times in the inning, while Quinn Fritz was 2 for 3.
NORTH FARMINGTON 11, WATERFORD KETTERING 0 (5 hostel)
Hannah Hart allowed just three hits and retired six of five shutout innings for the win, going 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBIs. Lindsey Dorfman was 2 for 3 with an RBI, while Sam Hoffer was 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored, and Lily O’Neill was 3 for 3 with two runs scored.
WOODHAVEN 11, FARMINGTON 1 (5 hostel)
Grace Usher was 2 for 3 with a double and three RBIs for the Warriors, while Ariel Krueger was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and Emma Kaiser was 3 for 3 with two doubles. Danielle Couture allowed one run on five hits — Riley Bohannon singled in Farmington’s only run in the first — while striking out seven and none on foot.
WOODHAVEN 19, WEST BLOOMFIELD 0 (3 hostel)
Grace Usher struck out five and allowed one hit — to Laci Newmark — in three innings for the shutout, and was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Ariel Kruger was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three points scored.
WOODHAVEN 14, WATERFORD MOTT 0 (5 hostel)
Danielle Couture went five innings no-hitter, striking out eight, and was 2 for 3 with an RBI at home plate. Ariel Krugere was 2 for 4 with a brace, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Grace Usher tripled, scored a run and dropped one.
FARMINGTON 14, WATERFORD MOTT 0 (5 hostel)
Elena Politowicz shot a two-hitter shutout for the Falcons, striking out four, and went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs at home plate. Riley Bohanon was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two RBIs, while Madilyn Beckwith was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and an RBI.
WATERFORD MOTT 4, WEST BLOOMFIELD 3
Abigail Trombley’s two-run triple with two outs in the bottom of the sixth gave Mott the green light. Jenna Fedor was 2-2 for the Lakers, while Natalie Weissman walked three times, scored a run and drove a run.