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SALINE, Mich. - Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central advanced to the Division 3 state softball semifinals for the first time since 1999 last night, riding the two-hit pitching of senior Megan Drabek to a 2-1 victory over Napoleon in a state tournament quarterfinal at Saline High School.
"We just came together as a team," Drabek said. "There were a couple plays where we got shook up with people on base, but we pulled it together. I did my job, and [the fielders] did their job, and we just came together."
The Kestrels (25-10) got all the scoring they would need in the bottom of the fifth inning when senior twins Amy and Beth Terrasi each drove in a run with singles for a 2-0 lead.
Drabek did the rest, striking out 11 Napoleon batters and walking just two. Her only serious trouble came in the sixth inning when Pirates pitcher Abbie Richardson delivered a two-out RBI double. But Drabek induced a groundout to prevent further damage.
"I was a little bit nervous out there," Drabek said of Napoleon's comeback bid, "but I knew I just had to keep my cool and pull myself together. This has been my dream forever. Last year we lost in regionals, and this year, I just can't believe it. Just going [to Battle Creek for state] is amazing."
St. Mary CC will play Portland (42-3) in a D-3 semifinal Friday at 1 p.m. at Bailey Park in Battle Creek. The Kestrels' best tourney efforts were Class B state runner-up finishes in 1989 and 1992.
Drabek led off the decisive fifth inning with a double to right-center.
Courtesy runner Melissa Lovell then scored on Amy Terrasi's one-out single to center. Junior Alicia Flynn followed with a single to put runners at first and third base, and Beth Terrasi's two-out infield bloop single plated what proved to be the winning run.
-Steve Junga42.16829 -83.77912