Decatur falls to Kentwood 4-0 in NPSL title game

The Gators control their own destiny for second place finish

The Decatur Gators fell to the Kentwood Conquerors on May 4 for their second league loss of the season. There was a chance for the Gators to take home an NPSL crown or a share of one. But the likes of Sarah Wright denied that chance for Decatur.

“The girls came focused and ready to play. I think we just fell a little short with things in the field and catching up to their pitcher,” Assistant Head Coach Sydney Kozorezov said.

They couldn’t crack the code, and many haven’t, as Wright struck out 15 Gators in the contest. She hasn’t allowed a run to come across the plate while she was on the mound over her last seven games dating to March 25.

In the first Decatur came close getting two runners in scoring position with less than two outs, both of the following Gator batters couldn’t plate a run as Wright escaped without a scratch.

It was an eye-opener for junior Sina Fuiava because Decatur hadn’t faced an arm like Wright all season, but Fuiava gave credit to Wright and Kentwood.

“It was really eye opening. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Sarah. She’s a great pitcher and has a great team and defense behind her,” Fuiava said.

But in the Gators’ defense, they might not for the rest of the season. However, the Gators do take on Jackson who is the number one Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rated team in the state at 4A.

“It’s a good experience playing these teams. It’s a good lesson, win or lose, it’s just good seeing pitchers and good teams like this,” Sina Fuiava said.

Kahea Sharpe was one of the runners to reach scoring position in the first inning. In the third, she showed off some upper echelon defense laying out to catch a line drive, touching second base and firing the ball to first for a triple play.

She also got back into scoring position in the fifth after hitting an infield single. She would be stranded once more.

Decatur right handed pitcher Audrey Diviney got the start for the Gators and had a great outing. She went 6.1 innings and held the Conks offense to under five runs for the fifth time all season.

“She was great, she was on fire. There were a couple pitches that were miscommunicated or not the best in that situation. But she learned from those and got through it,” Kozorezov said.

The chances were there for the Gators, and a hit there and a hit here outcome could be totally different. The effort was there for Kozorezov.

“Our girls should definitely need to take away what they learned from their mistakes. But not dwell on them, and focus on picking up our teammates,” Kozorezov said.

Seeing the quality of team like Kentwoodmotivates the young coach at Decatur.

“They’re definitely the top of the league, and that’s something we can strive for in the future,” Kozorezov said.

Fuiava is ready for the postseason.

“We just have to practice hard. Play like we practice and get ready for the games and just keep grinding,” she said.