South lyon high school softball

South lyon high school softball DEFAULT

EAST LANSING, MI – The Allen Park hitters understand how the Bradshaws’ cinder blocks feel.

South Lyon freshman Ava Bradshaw, who struck out 12 batters in a semifinal win Friday over Grandville, added nine strikeouts in a 5-0 shutout of Allen Park, leading the Lions to a Division 1 softball state championship Saturday at Michigan State University.

“Obviously, she’s extremely talented,” South Lyon coach Dan DePaulis said. “She’s got everything. She’s got velo, she’s got spin, she’s got movement. And to top that all off, she is one of the most competitive players I’ve seen. She just wants to win.

“She’s working five to seven days a week … lifting, throwing, playing, pitching. She’ll go down in the basement and throw against the cinder blocks.”

The cinder blocks don’t hit back, but the Jaguars also struggled to hit Bradshaw, who allowed just three hits. Allen Park runners only reached second base twice during the game.

“She’s got talent, she’s got spin, she’s got velocity,” Allen Park coach Mike Kish said. “Her velocity is Division I right now, and she brings it.”

And, much to the chagrin of future opponents, Bradshaw does not expect to get stuck on one state title.

“We’re not satisfied,” Bradshaw said. “You can always improve. You can always work harder to get better, and that’s what we intend to do. This is great, but we want more. If all of us work, all of us improve, we’re going to be so good … it’s going to be awesome.”

Even though South Lyon had never made a state-final appearance in its program’s history DePaulis was not surprised to accept the championship trophy Saturday.

“We knew the talent we had coming, plus we knew we had the pitcher,” DePaulis said. “She’s only a freshman, but we had heard of her before high school. We knew she was coming. I saw one of her games, so we knew what we had.”

Bradshaw attended Centennial Middle School in South Lyon, but she also made a name for herself pitching for the Turnin2 travel softball program based in Brighton.

Bradshaw also did her part as a hitter Saturday. Her first-inning double drove in Grace Walters with the first run, with courtesy runner Tierny Donnelly scoring on a Julia Duncan single.

“It’s funny because I’ve been in kind of a slump,” Bradshaw said. “But the double doesn’t mean anything if nobody’s on base. It was a big hit because we had a runner on.”

South Lyon, 30-6-2, added a run in the fifth and two in the sixth. Senior Riley Bourlier singled and eventually scored on Bradshaw’s sacrifice fly. In the sixth. Bourlier’s double drove in Madison Seymour and Ella Vitale.

That was plenty for Bradshaw, who struck out the final batter to end the game.

The Jaguars, who were also making their first state-final appearance, finished with a 32-11 record.

“We knew that this pitcher is dominant, so we had to get on them early,” Kish said. “The first two runs they got they should not have gotten. We felt that pressure. Those are the things we’re going to remember.

“We can’t let her win another one. She’s good. We have a good team. We’ll be back.”

And, if Bradshaw’s plans come fruition, so will South Lyon.

“She’s just a freshman, but the girls rally around her,” DePaulis said. “That’s not something you see every day. For her to do what she’s done as a freshman is impressive.

“This is the 24th game we’ve played this season against a team that’s ranked or honorable mention, and she’s done well against every one of them. She can make the case that she’s the best player in the state.”

And she has three more years to improve.

It might be time to reinforce the cinder blocks.


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The South Lyon Community Schools believe that athletics are an integral part of the total educational program. Not everyone can be a member of a team, but everyone can benefit from the programs offered by the Athletic Department. Our purpose is to provide experiences not otherwise available in the school classroom curriculum.

South Lyon High School
1000 N.Lafayette South Lyon, MI 48178

Co-Op Sports: Ice Hockey, Ski & Girls Lacrosse
Athletic Director:   Mr. Mike Teagan, C.A.A
Athletic Secretary: Danielle Rhodes

SLHS Coaching Contacts & Athletic Schedules

*SLHS Coaching Contacts

South Lyon East High School

52200 10 Mile Rd. South Lyon, MI 48178
Athletic Director:  Greg Michaels
Athletic Secretary: Rita Welton
SLEHS Coaching Contacts
Co-op sports: Swim, Boys Lacrosse
East Athletic Schedules & Team Contacts

Millennium Middle School

61526 W. Nine Mile Rd.  South Lyon, MI 48178


Activities/Athletic Coordinator:  Mr. Chris Costa- [email protected]

Athletic Director: Mr. Mike Teagan- [email protected]
MMS Coaching Contacts    
MMS Athletic Schedules & Team Contacts


Centennial Middle School
62500 W. Nine Mile Rd. South Lyon, MI 48178

Activities/Athletic Coordinator: Justin Chamberlin- [email protected]
Athletic Director: Greg Michaels - [email protected]

CMS Coaching Contacts

CMS Athletic Schedules & Team Contacts

Athletic events are always among the most popular activities for participants and spectators, and these games provide another learning experience. When you as a student become involved in an extracurricular athletic event, how our school and our community is perceived is influenced by the good sportsmanship you display.

As a society, we are constantly bombarded with the message that winning is everything. Not everyone can win every game, or finish first in every race. But everyone can practice the Golden Rule -- treating others they way they wish to be treated, with fairness and respect. That is the true value in playing school sports.

Please take a few moments to review the attached guidelines for behavior, stating the example we expect our spectators to display at athletic events. As a representative of ours, your actions are viewed by family and friends, opposing fans, the local community and the media. Displaying good sportsmanship will show the most positive things about you and our school; and hopefully, remind us all that in the end, sport is meant to be fun.


  • Taunting, trash talk and other intimidating actions.

  • Not admonishing those sitting around you who engage in practice of poor sportsmanship

  • Disrespectful or derogatory yells, chants, songs or gestures.

  • Booing or heckling an official's decision.

  • Criticizing officials in any way; displays of temper with an official's call.

  • Yells that antagonize opponents.

  • Blaming loss of game on officials, coaches or participants.

  • Laughing or name-calling to distract an opponent.

  • Use of profanity or displays of anger that draw attention away from the game.

  • Doing own yells instead of following lead of cheerleaders.

  • Wearing extreme/unusual clothing or excessive face or body painting.


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Underdogs no more: South Lyon softball wins D1 state title against Allen Park

Ava Bradshaw was a mess, a nervous wreck heading into the Division 1 softball state final. 

South Lyon head coach Dan Depaulis said that’s common for his freshman pitcher, saying that she wakes up between 5 and 6 a.m.before big games to go to her basement and pitch around cinder blocks. 

But the nervousness did not come from Allen Park, a team that South Lyon lost to early in the 2021 season. Bradshaw was comfortable in her and her teammates’ abilities on the softball field. It was the gravity of the situation, the weight of the work put in to get to this moment. 

“There’s part of you that’s nervous and then there’s a part of you that knows you’ve done what it takes,” Bradshaw said. “I know I prepared myself, but I was nervous because I care so much about the game. 

“We came so far. Just to not win, it felt wrong.” 

From the moment Bradshaw threw her first pitch against the Jaguars — leading to a line drive that easily landed in the freshman pitcher’s glove for the first out of the game — she knew it was theirs to lose. She pumped her fist, pointing down, marking their territory and putting their stake in the trophy on the line. 

Not even a rain delay could halt that momentum, as South Lyon (29-6-2) beat Allen Park (31-11), 5-0, for the team’s first state title in school history. 

Leaving the circle after a scoreless first, striking out one, Bradshaw was no longer nervous. She was just looking for a lead. 

In the freshman pitcher’s first at bat in the bottom of the first, with sophomore third baseman Grace Walters at second, she laced a double to the left-center gap, pumping her fists and clapping her hands when she got to the second-base bag, knowing she soon could do what she loved: pitch with a lead. 

“It completely swung the momentum in our favor,” Bradshaw said. “It changed the game because now, we were in control. We could go out there and shut them down.” 

South Lyon held that momentum heading into the third inning, taking a two-run lead with an RBI single by junior Julia Duncan in the first. But a rain delay led to the Lions questioning how much staying power the momentum had. 

Freshman Ava Bradshaw delivers a pitch for South Lyon. She limited Allen Park to three hits and one walk in a 5-0 victory in the Division 1 softball final at Secchia Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, June 19, 2021.

As his team sat in the dugout, Depaulis told his team to erase the first two innings from memory. Instead, view it as a scoreless, five-inning game. 

“I think it calmed the nerves a little because we were all a little nervous, sitting down and all that,” senior Riley Boulier said. “The five-inning game really cut off some of the worryness and (let us) fire back.” 

Bradshaw needed help. After stranding two runners on first and second in the fourth with back-to-back strikeouts of Mia and Molly Hool, the freshman hit Allen Park sophomore Faith Peschke in the head with a fastball and walked the next batter on four pitches. Senior Madison Seymour picked up Bradshaw, securing the last out on a fly ball to centerfield to continue the shutout. 

Bradshaw recorded a complete-game shutout, striking out nine, while allowing three hits and one walk. 

South Lyon was not done offensively. Boulier secured two insurance runs, clearing the bases with a double in the bottom of the sixth. The senior finished the game with two hits and two RBI, scoring once. 

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“I think I have been in shock for a while to be honest,” Boulier said. “This is unreal. I’m so happy I got to do this before I leave high school.” 

Depaulis had been an underdog before. 

When he was a senior at University of Detroit Jesuit in 2001, he helped an unranked Cubs team to a state title. As a coach of an unranked South Lyon team, he said he likes the underdog role, reveling in the idea that no one believed in his team. 

“We really had a chip on our shoulder,” Depaulis said. “We really embraced it. We didn’t really talk about it… we couldn’t control what the rankings were, but we felt they weren’t really respecting us.” 

That changes immediately for South Lyon, with 12 of its 15 players set to come back for the 2022 season.

The expectation doesn’t scare Bradshaw. It may make her nervous when those big moments arrive, but it doesn’t mean she isn’t confident. 

She’s always about setting and exceeding high expectations. 

“There’s never going to be a limit,” Bradshaw said. “I’m proud of myself and proud of this team. I think if we just learn from this, there’s nobody that can stop us.”

Contact reporter Colin Gay at [email protected] or 248-330-6710. Follow him on Twitter @ColinGay17. Send game results and stats to [email protected]

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2020 RHP/OF Melanie Cosens (South Lyon HS)

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South Lyon vs. Allen Park - 2021 Division 1 MHSAA Softball Final - STATE CHAMPS! Michigan

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