DePew throws pair of no-hitters for title

©2003 Homer Index

by Mike Warner

6-5-03

Whatever skills Tina DePew had in predicting the future Saturday, paled in comparison to the talent she showed on the mound in leading Homer to the district softball title in Quincy.

DePew assured herself of a place in Homer softball history Saturday by throwing back-to-back no-hitters at Quincy, as the Trojans defeated Bronson 3-0 and Union City 1-0 in the finals.

Homer has had a number of outstanding pitchers throughout its storied softball program, but none of them ever did what DePew did Saturday in throwing 14 hitless innings in tournament action.

" I guess I was just more pumped up than I had been during the season," DePew explained after the two wins. "I didn't want this to be my last game. We just wanted it more than the other teams."

" She's my stallion, my go-to girl," coach Deb VanMeter said in describing her senior ace. "She threw hard and never let up."

VanMeter asked DePew what she felt like prior to the game against Bronson.

" She said her arm felt like a one-hitter," VanMeter recalled.

DePew was even better than that. She blanked the Vikings without a hit, allowing just a fifth inning walk. That runner was wiped off the base path on a double play, meaning DePew faced the minimum 21 hitters over seven innings.

Up until Saturday, it had been a frustrating season for the Trojans, full of many ups and downs. They lost four conference games by one run to finish fourth in the Big Eight. The team seemed prone to making mistakes at crucial times and failed to deliver key hits when needed. For a while Saturday, it appeared that more of the same was on the menu.

The Trojans wasted scoring opportunities in the first and second innings, leaving runners on second and third. However, in the third inning they were able to get a runner past home plate, as Brenna Nickles and Christina Finch singled, and DePew walk-ed. Jessica Bentley grounded to first and Homer had its first run when Nickles beat the throw to the plate. Cassie DePew added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 2-0.

Homer added an insurance run in the fifth. DePew singled, Bentley walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. DePew scored on an error.

Finals win

The win avenged an earlier season loss to the Vikings, and put Homer in the championship game against Union City, a team that had beaten the Trojans twice in league competition.

The game's only run scored in the bottom of the sixth, as Cassie DePew doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Kurnin Albrecht. Both players are just freshmen.

Tina DePew wasn't as sharp in this game. Though the Chargers were unable to get a hit off her, the Homer pitcher did issue seven walks, giving Union City plenty of opportunities to score, including having two runners on in the final inning. However, Homer played solid defense behind DePew.

" It was a total team effort," VanMeter said.

" I just wanted to throw hard, strike out some hitters and let my defense do the rest of the work," DePew said.

It was a recipe that worked to perfection, as DePew struck out six batters in the finals and her teammates did not make an error all day long.
And what did DePew have to say before the championship game?

" I gave her time to think about it and she came back and said she felt like a no-hitter," VanMeter said of her ace pitcher/prophetess.

" This effort (winning the district) was long overdue for our program,"VanMeter noted, as it was the first district title for Homer since 1999. "We were really hungry. We finally made something happen that we said we would. It was all or nothing, and these girls just weren't ready to be finished."
Homer takes a 25-10 record into Saturday's regionals at Michigan Center.

Homer plays Napoleon at noon, following the Clinton/Springport game. The
championship game will be later in the afternoon.


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This article courtesy Homer Index.

©2003
used with permission



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