Inland Lakes Shuts Out Holton, Advances to First State Title Game
EAST LANSING – And then there were two.
Behind pitcher Cloe Mallory’s two-run home run to right-center field in the bottom of the first, the fifth-ranked Inland Lakes softball team pushed past Holton, 2-0, Friday in a Division 4 semifinal at Michigan State.
The win moves the Bulldogs, which were appearing in the first state semifinal since 1999, to the program’s first-ever appearance in state championship game.
Inland Lakes (31-3) will now face staff ace Nicole Bauer and second-ranked Unionville-Sebewaing Area, which beat Morenci, 12-3, in Friday’s earlier semifinal.
The Patriots (35-7) have appeared in eight of the last 11 state title games across Division 3 and 4, winning four of those.
For Inland Lakes coach Krissi Thompson, Friday’s win was especially rewarding. Thompson, in her 14th season, was a senior on the 1999 state semifinal team.
“It’s such a huge accomplishment for our school and our town,” Thompson said. “These girls have become such great role models for the future of the program and I’m extremely proud of everyone."
Mallory was nearly unhittable in the circle, allowing just two hits while walking three and striking out a game-high 13.
Sydney DePauw recorded the only other hit for Inland Lakes, which was held in check by Holton’s Mikaela Baker.
First pitch in Saturday’s championship game is slate for 5:30 p.m.