Spring Swing: Manistique routs Houghton

MARQUETTE – The Manistique Emeralds presented manager Jessica Nord with her first victory Saturday as they romped to a 13-3 softball victory in five innings over the Houghton Gremlins in the 10th Annual Marquette Spring Swing Classic.

Kelsy Gonyea, Lindsey Knuth, Sam Williams, Allie Nagy and Sydney Chartier had two hits each for the Emeralds. Gonyea drove in three runs. Knuth and Haley MacGregor had two RBIs apiece.

“We started hitting the ball,” said Nord. “Most of our girls hadn’t played in that kind of environment before. I think we had the jitters on Friday (in an 18-0 loss to Gladstone). Superior Central has a very strong program and Houghton has a lot of young kids like we do.”

Breiann Richey tossed a no-hitter, struck out three and walked none against Houghton.

Manistique’s Kelsey Morgan ripped two doubles and drove in three runs against Superior Central. Williams added two hits and two RBIs.

“We saw a lot of improvement,” said Nord. “Now, we know where need to do some work. We’re not making errors. The other teams are just hitting the ball.”

Manistique then rallied from a three-run deficit to tie Superior Central 7-7.

The Cougars, fueled by Vanessa Freberg’s two-run triple, gained a 4-1 lead in the first inning.

Brooke Pasanen blasted a two-run homer and Teslyn Tyner had two hits during the contest.

“Brooke sent that one way over the fence,” said Cougars’ manager Martha Verbrigghe. “We have a 225-foot fence on our field and Brooke’s homer would have been well over that.”

Katie Spitz-Berry, who caught a pair of deep flyballs, was among the Cougars’ defensive leaders.

“She was pretty happy about that,” said Verbrigghe. “We played a lot of kids who will be our jayvees this season. This was a chance for them to see some live pitching and get into the swing of varsity ball. Quite a few of these girls hadn’t played before. I thought they did well.”

Gladstone beat Escanaba 8-3 before falling to Marquette 5-4 on Saturday.

Christine Sharon took the win against Esky despite battling a muscle problem in her arm. She struck out four, walked one and scattered six hits.

“I thought she pitched a pretty good ball game for not being able to practice very much,” said Braves’ manager Gerry Smith. “We hadn’t planned on using Chris, but she came out of it all right. Our defense also played well behind her.”

Lexi Hongisto blasted a two-run homer and Jessica Beaudry rapped a solo shot in the opening frame. Sadie Strasser had two hits, including an inside-the-park solo homer. Hongisto and Jordan Kowalski also had two hits each.

“Gladstone jumped on us right away and we were scrambling the whole game,” said Esky manager John LaMarch. “They were confident and loose and did the things they were supposed to do. We lost a tough one to Marquette (3-2) Friday night and things didn’t work out for us.”

The Braves led 4-0 at one time against Marquette, but were unable to hang on in a contest which was stopped after five innings due to the tourney’s time limit.

Sophomore Breanna Winling, who pitched into the fifth, absorbed the loss. She struck out one, walked three and allowed four hits, including a home run.

Marquette collected three hits and drew two walks in the fifth before chasing Winling from the hill. Paige Schwartz finished that inning in relief.

“They did pretty good for young pitchers,” said Smith. “Breanna got a little tired in the fourth and fifth innings, which is understandable. It was a good experience for both girls. Our hitting was real sporadic. But at least we know what we need to work on.”

Esky’s Jaymie Frappier then fired a no-hitter as it needed only four innings to hammer Negaunee 15-0.

“Jaymie threw a nice game,” said LaMarch. “She just went after their hitters. I think our team was a little frustrated after the Marquette and Gladstone games. Negaunee has a nice team. Only, they were short a few players. We had the momentum and they didn’t.”

Esky’s Jen Koish collected four hits and two RBIs. Codi Jenshak, who took the loss against Gladstone, ripped two-run and solo homers and scored three times against Negaunee. Michelle LaFave also had two hits for the Eskymos.