FLINT – Carman-Ainsworth would have had a tough game no matter who it drew in the first round of the Div. 1 softball district at Flint Kearsley.
As it is, the Cavaliers got their easiest possible opponent on paper, drawing Swartz Creek for a semifinal game at 10 a.m. Saturday. Flushing will play host Kearsley in the other semifinal at noon, with the championship game at 2 p.m.
Swartz Creek is down considerably this year compared to its last two seasons, when it went 62-14. The Dragons bring a 14-16 record into the district and a sixth-place finish in the Metro League at 8-8.
Carman-Ainsworth comes in at 2-14 and a slim chance to beat Creek, its neighboring rival. The Cavs likely won’t see the Dragons’ ace pitcher, Carah Pletscher, who has pitched very little this year because of a shoulder issue. Phoebe Cross has been tough as the No. 2 hurler, but the Creek defense has let in some unearned runs.
Carman-Ainsworth counters with the pitching tandem of Jessica McClung and Madison Cox. Both those players also provide offensive punch, as do Meghan Borgerding, Jessica Smith, Katlyn Koegel, Brianna Haskins and Alexis Ritchie.
Flushing comes into the district at 14-9, including a 12-6, 18-0 sweep of Carman-Ainsworth in a Saginaw Valley League-South doubleheader on April 24. Kearsley went 9-7 in the Metro League, a step above Swartz Creek.
The district champion will advance to the Saginaw Heritage regional June 7 to play the winner of the Traverse City West district.