District softball: IHS overcomes slow start to oust Hancock

IRONWOOD – Once Ishpeming found its hitting stroke, there was nothing stopping the Hematites on Tuesday afternoon.

Ishpeming spotted Hancock a 5-0 lead, then stormed back for a mercy-rule-shortened 18-5 victory in the opening round of the MHSAA Division 3 softball district tournament held in Ironwood.

In other games played in a quadrupleheader, the host Red Devils downed Jeffers, 14-4; Norway dropped Lake Linden-Hubbell, 19-5; and L’Anse throttled Stephenson, 24-0.

Tuesday’s winners return to Ironwood on Friday afternoon for the district semifinals and championship. Ishpeming plays Ironwood at noon EDT; L’Anse faces Norway at 2 p.m.; and the title tilt is set for 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, Ishpeming generated little offense until finding its stride in the third inning.

Junior Emily Myers and sophomore Hailly Thompson led off with singles, and following a walk to sophomore Sinead Korvela, junior Lindsey Thompson ripped a bases-loaded triple to really set up the onslaught.

The Hematites (7-6) scored 10 runs then and eight more the following inning to end the game after five innings due to the 10-run rule.

It made a winner of Korvela, who allowed two hits and nine walks while fanning 13 batters among her 15 outs.

“We overcame a bad practice the day before, then started to get some key hits,” IHS coach Jeremy Thompson said. “That just got us going on the right path.”

Ishpeming pounded out 11 hits against losing hurler Carolyn Parker, who also walked 10 while fanning two.

Myers and Lindsey Thompson each went 3 for 3 with Thompson recording a double and collecting six RBIs. Myers knocked in three runs and scored three times while doubling.

In another district tourney involving area teams – Division 4 hosted by Pickford – Superior Central tripped Brimley, 10-1; Newberry fended off Munising, 13-3; and Rapid River blasted the host Panthers, 21-0.

In semifinal games to be played in Pickford on Friday, SC faces Newberry at 11 a.m. while Rapid River goes against Rudyard at 1 p.m. The championship follows at 3 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Cougars led 2-1 against Brimley in the bottom of the fourth when Brooke Krysiak led off the inning with a double off the top of the fence. She later came back up in the same inning and hit a bases-loaded double to right center, which cleared the bases and increased the lead to 9-1.

Molly Swajanen and Vanessa Freberg chipped in with two hits apiece. Freberg earned the win on the mound, striking out nine, walking four and allowing two hits.

In a Division 3 district hosted by Gladstone, all four games have been moved to today, including Negaunee at Westwood at 4 p.m. and Iron Mountain at Gwinn at 6 p.m. Manistique is at Calumet, tentatively set for 4 p.m.