Seniors lead Esky in home finale; Rockets roll

ESCANABA – A full senior lineup led Escanaba to a softball sweep of Marquette in its home season finale, Thursday night. Escanaba rolled past the Redettes 7-0 and 13-3 in five innings.

Three Eskymos hit home runs in the twinbill, including seniors Ashley Cook and Shelby Gregoire. The senior Eskymos played every inning of both games, though Syd Gafner had be taken out of the nightcap after being hit on the elbow.

“It was a big day for the seniors,” said Escanaba head coach John LaMarche. “Ashley Cook pounded the ball and it came right on the heels of her winning the Gessner award (Wednesday), so obviously something pleased her last night.”

With Escanaba holding a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth in the first game, Cook belted a two-run homer and Becca Piron followed with a two-run blast of her own. The Eskymos tacked on a couple more runs in the xith to reach the final score of 7-0.

The Eskymos had seven hits, led by Cook and Callie Heller, who each had two hits.

Sam Connor went the first six innings to earn the victory, allowing four hits and no walks with one strikeout. Jaymie Frappier pitched a perfect seventh, striking out one.

Sonja Liimatta took the loss for Marquette, going the distance.

In the nightcap, Frappier earned the complete game victory, allowing seven hits and no walks with one strikeout.

“Jaymie pitched pretty well. Late in the game we were ahead by quite a bit and you tend to play for outs vs. baserunners,” said LaMarch. “It doesn’t help her bottom line but she actually pitched very well in her first game after getting rocked (hit in the face by a ball). We were happy to get that under her belt.”

Cook had two doubles and a triple and Jenn Koish collected three hits and scored three runs.

“Jenn swatted the ball pretty well,” said LaMarch.

Heller, Gregoire, Jess Gill and JJ Laviollette each had two hits, Gregoire with a monster home run that hit the scoreboard.

Freshman Chelsea Wiggins took the loss for the Redettes.

“It was a nice performance by all the kids,” said LaMarch. “Something must have agreed with them.”

The Escanaba jayvees also won, pulling off a dramatic victory over Marquette.

“Their second game went into extra innings and the whole crowd went over and watched them finish,” said LaMarch. “It went into extra innings and they won it in walk-off fashion. It was exciting for them.”

Escanaba travels to Marquette in a make-up game Thursday for its season finale, before opening district play Friday in Petoskey.

“We have a great relationship with Marquette and we didn’t want to gyp them out of a home game,” said LaMarch. “We’re hoping for good weather, so we can get it in.”

Rapid River 11, Superior Central 0

Rapid River 11, Superior Central 0

EBEN – Savannah Stenlund and Erika Schwartz formed a formidable one-two pitching punch for the Rapid River softball team on Thursday, as they stymied the Superior Central bats, allowing Rapid River to win both games of a doubleheader on Thursday, 11-0.

In the first game, Stenlund pitched four of the five innings, and struck out 10, while allowing just one hit. Schwartz then came in for relief in the fifth inning, and went on to strike out the side.

The duo then topped that performance in the nightcap.

Stenlund pitched the first six innings and again struck out 10 and allowed no hits. Schwartz came in for the seventh inning and retired the side, keeping the no-hitter intact.

It was the first time the Rockets had recorded a combined no-hitter this year.

The Rockets had some highlights on offense as well.

Aslyn Brockway recorded the first home run of her varsity career in the second inning of the first game, and Erica Rubick cleared the fences as well, smashing a car windshield in the process, in the third inning.

Rapid River jumped on Superior Central early on, scoring four runs in the first inning, two runs in the second, one in the third, and four in the fourth inning. As a team, they recorded nine hits.

“It was huge to get that early lead,” Rapid River head coach George Kanyuh said.

In the second contest of the afternoon, Rhiley Hubert went 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Brockway was 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and Tessa Sundling chipped in as well, going 2-for-2 with a double and a single.

With the game 3-0 in the fifth inning, Brockway came up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. She would go on to clear the bases and create some separation on the scoreboard, as her triple gave the Rockets a 6-0 lead.

“She’s putting the bat on the ball real well lately,” Kanyuh said about Brockway.

The Rockets recorded 10 hits and had a five-run fourth inning.

Rapid River will now prepare for the districts. The Rockets will travel to face Pickford on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

“This was our final season game as far as playing competition,” Kanyuh said. “Next time we play, it will be districts. We’ve just been trying to instill in the girls the importance of ramping things up now and everybody doing their best. It’s distict time right around the corner, and we like what we see with the hitting, the pitching, and the defense. It’s an accumulation of all the hard work they put in this year and it’s coming together at the right time.”