Prep softball roundup: Negaunee remains unbeaten in Mid-Peninsula Conference
NEGAUNEE – Negaunee kept control of its own destiny in the Mid-Peninsula Conference by sweeping a high school softball doubleheader against Westwood on Tuesday.
The Miners scored eight times in the first inning for a 15-0, three-inning victory in the opener, then posted a 15-4 win in five innings in the nightcap.
“I was happy to see our girls finally jump out early,” Negaunee coach John Anderson said. “They’re working on what we need as we get closer to districts (tournament), like their intensity … and staying focused.”
The Miners and Norway are both undefeated in the M-PC as they face off for two games in Dickinson County at 4 p.m. EDT Friday.
Sisters Adena and Rosalie Anderson picked up Tuesday’s pitching victories, Adena throwing a two-hit shutout in Game 1 and Rosalie allowing two runs on four hits over four innings in Game 2.
Freshman Allie Ring pitched the final inning of the nightcap for Negaunee (14-6) in her first live pitching action. Though the first two batters reached against her, she struck out the next two Westwood hitters and allowed one more single around a couple ground balls.
The Miners’ Taylor Ring collected four hits altogether, three coming in Game 2, and scored five times while stealing three bases. Teammate Rosalie Anderson had three hits and scored six times, while Jessa Johnson and Rachel Ring each had two hits in the nightcap.
For Westwood, Hannah Salmi collected two of her team’s six hits while scoring a run in Game 2, and Courtney Illikainen doubled in the opener.
Salmi and Shana Caliguri took the pitching losses.
Negaunee will also participate in the Escanaba Challenge on Saturday, facing Traverse City Central, Cheboygan and Sault Ste. Marie.
In other M-PC softball news, Anderson said he was told Tuesday that Iron Mountain will field a team for the first time next spring, meaning all seven league schools will now play softball.
In a nonconference doubleheader played in Ishpeming, the Hematites held a 2-0 lead in the opener before the Knights plated nine runs in the next two innings.
“We’re finally getting some practice on the field,” Ishpeming coach Jeremy Thompson said. “We’ve only had three practices outside so far. Everything else has been in the gym.”
The Hematites were also knocking off some rust as senior Caitlin Korvela, the team’s top pitcher and hitter, played for the first time in more than two weeks due to an injury.
Korvela pitched all seven innings of the night cap, allowing 11 hits and seven walks. Freshman Sinead Korvela went the distance for Ishpeming in the opener, giving up 10 hits and six walks but also striking out nine.
In Game 1, Ishpeming scored single runs in each of the first two innings. In the first, the Hematites received three walks and got a hit from sophomore Lindsey Thompson, while in the second, Sinead Korvela doubled to knock in Melanee Bess, who had singled.
Thompson finished with two hits in the opener and another in the nightcap. Sinead Korvela had a hit in each game, while junior Gabby Croley had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning of the nightcap to account for her team’s run in that game.
For Norway, freshman Bobbi Hulce went 3 for 4 in each game, scoring a total of four runs, while freshman Brandi Winkler was 3 for 4 in the opener and senior Bailey Grayvold had the same line in the nightcap. Winkler had a double and Grayvold a triple and double.
Sophomore Ashley Zanon, who collected two hits in Game 2, was the first game’s winning pitcher, going all seven innings while striking out five and scattering six hits and five walks.
Freshman Harli Caster got the win in the second game, fanning seven and giving up four hits and two walks.