National Mine wins annual school game

ISHPEMING – Champions were crowned Sunday, but in a separate game, National Mine upended Champion at the Westwood High School Alumni Softball Tournament at Sunnyside Field in Ishpeming Township.

National Mine edged Champion, 10-8, as the game featured three 1950s graduates – Ralph Keto from the Class of 1951 and Jerry Kippola from 1956 for National Mine, and Bob Pascoe from ’56 for Champion.

The winners’ Nancy Spencer went 4 for 4, while Champion’s Ray Carlson hit an inside-the-park homer.

The Red Division title game was a defensive battle with the combined classes of 1975-76-77 scoring a 3-0 victory over 1981-82-83. Sandy Mankee not only went 2 for 2 at the plate, but caught a pop-up and threw to second base for a double play to end the game.

Teammate Dan Nelson went 2 for 2 and Brian Maki 2 for 3, while for ’75-’76-’77, Rob Powelson was 2 for 2 and Brad Bessner 2 for 3.

In the Blue Division, the Class of 2008 repeated as champions by upending 2007, 6-2, as ’08’s Nate Isola was 2 for 2 with a triple.

In the White Division, 1998 thumped 1992, 17-1. Jeremy Steele hit a three-run homer and teammate Justin LaMere had four hits, while Jen Anderson scored ’92’s run.

On Saturday, 1975-76-77 outscored 1986, 19-7, as the winners’ Dan Wallberg and Rick Carlson each went 4 for 4, while ’86’s Jim Prophet hit an inside-the-park homer.

1981-82-83 held off 1987, 9-5, with Bessner and teammates Blaine Knutson and Mike Wasie all going 2 for 3.

1992 chalked up two victories, beating 1989, 8-5, with the victors’ Steve Kangas and ’89s’ Brian Talus each going 2 for 3, then downing 1999, 8-7, with Jen Anderson a perfect 3 for 3 for the winners and Tanya Hinyne 2 for 3 for ’99.

1999 took care of 1991 as the winners’ Levi Hietikko and Steve Ruspakka both 3 for 5.

1998 shut out 1994, 17-0, with Leanne Hebert cracking an inside-the-park homer and teammates Shane Nault and Tim Palomaki both going 3 for 3.

2007 dropped 2011, 13-6, as the winners’ Kirk Hooper and David Halverson each went 3 for 4 while ’07’s Craig Perry was 3 for 3 and Caylie Gray and Dylan VanGinkle both went 2 for 3.

2008 held off 2006, 13-7, with the victors’ Eli Wolf going 4 for 4, Nate Isola 3 for 3 and Dan Nelson hitting an inside-the-fence homer. Travis Watters was 3 for 3 for ’06.