2017-05-11 / Sports

Eagles light up Lakers in tournament title game

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

MEMBERS OF the St. Mary softball team come together on Saturday after capturing the Elk Rapids Invitational title with an 18-4 win over Glen Lake. 
Photo: Kris Popp MEMBERS OF the St. Mary softball team come together on Saturday after capturing the Elk Rapids Invitational title with an 18-4 win over Glen Lake. Photo: Kris Popp Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt in high school softball—but it can intensify cross-county rivalries.

Contempt may be too strong a word to describe the rivalry between Glen Lake and Lake Leelanau St. Mary, but the teams are becoming awfully familiar with one another. The pair of peninsula foes met for the fourth time in 11 days on Saturday in the Elk Rapids Invitational championship game.

The fourth time was the charm for the Eagles, who used a six-run third inning and a handful of dandy defensive plays to dispatch Glen Lake for the first time this season, 18-4.

Blown leads spelled doom for coach Teresa Szur’s Eagles in the previous three meetings with the Lakers, but that wasn’t the case in Elk Rapids.

“I told the girls prior to Saturday’s game to just play ball,” said Szur, whose team improved to 10-7. “Don’t stress about the score. Play every pitch the same both offensively and defensively. We have a plan—stick to it and let the chips fall where they may.

“Well, for us, the chips were hits that seemed to find the gaps.”

That was certainly the case in the top of the third inning. Contributions came in from all over the lineup— whether it was a sacrifice bunt, key hit or stolen base—and a 4-4 affair turned into a 10-4 game in a hurry.

It was all St. Mary from there.

“Momentum went their way,” Glen Lake coach Gary Galla said. “Every time we made a mistake, they scored runs and got more confidence in the way they played.”

Jenna Sumner led the offensive outburst for St. Mary, finishing 3-for-3 with four RBI and five stolen bases. Lindsey Fleis, Emily Holmes, Alexandra Kirt and Olivia Schaub each drove in two runs.

Shannon Popp secured the win after surrendering four hits, five walks and four runs while striking out seven.

Popp was also in the circle for St. Mary’s first game, a 12-6 win over Elk Rapids. She scattered seven hits, five walks and six runs across five innings while striking out five. Fleis, Holmes and Kirt led at the plate with three hits apiece. Holmes and Kirt both went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

The Lakers (now 12-8, 3-7 Northwest) also collected a convincing victory in their first game, dispatching Brethren 15-0 in four innings.

“We had some big hits,” Galla said.

Kaitlyn Schaub, the winning pitcher, led with three RBI offensively. Lydia Drzewiecki, who had two RBI in the loss to St. Mary, added two hits and drove in another pair of runs. Keaton Mikowski tacked on two hits, as well.


Benzie roughs up Suttons Bay

Benzie batters could do no wrong on Tuesday as the Huskies handed Suttons Bay a pair of home losses, 19-1 (three innings) and 18-4 (five innings).

“It gets sideways quick against a team like Benzie,” Suttons Bay cocoach Keven Cross said, “but we gave them everything we had.”

Suttons Bay (6-12, 2-8 Northwest) struggled to manufacture much offense in game one. Morgan Kohler supplied the lone hit and lone RBI.

Taylor Devol, Laura Hursey and Grace Periard led at the plate in game two with two hits apiece. Devol drove in two runs; Periard drove in one.

Lakers drop two at home

Kingsley ace Kara Musser made quick work of Glen Lake hitters on Tuesday as the Stags secured wins of 4-2 and 11-1 (five innings).

Kelly Bunek, Musser’s future teammate at Lansing Community College, had one hit and one RBI in game one. Kaitlyn Schaub took the loss, giving up seven hits and seven walks while striking out two. Schaub supplied one hit and one RBI at the plate, as well.

Musser, who throws in the high 50s and low 60s, was even better in the nightcap. Lydia Drzewiecki had the only hit for Glen Lake.

“We’re a young team but we have to learn to play both games of a doubleheader,” coach Gary Galla said of his team, which gave up six first-inning runs in game two. “We have to learn to bring our game into the second game. Being so young, it takes a little bit of time to learn that.”

Norse finish third in Lake City

Suttons Bay closed out Saturday’s Lake City Invitational on a high note, bouncing back from a 7-2 loss to Whittemore-Prescott by beating Lake City 14-6.

“I was really proud of the fact that we didn’t take time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Suttons Bay co-coach Keven Cross said. “We got back on the saddle and we competed.”

Grace Periard pitched six strong innings in the consolation game, striking out six, before Morgan Jeffrey recorded the final three outs. Laura Hursey led at the plate with four hits, four runs and two RBI. Madelyn Kohler added three hits; Jeffrey tacked on three hits and one RBI.

Jeffrey and Natalie Ingwersen led in game one with two hits apiece. Ingwersen had the team’s only RBI.

Eagles drop two at Rudyard

The St. Mary girls suffered their sixth and seventh losses of the season on Friday, falling 11-7 and 13-2 at Rudyard.

“The girls competed really well in both games,” St. Mary coach Teresa Szur said. “Rudyard can certainly hit—and that coupled with high wind and the wet surface made playing the outfield extremely tricky. Best part is we competed and didn’t beat ourselves. Rudyard is probably one of the best team’s we’ve played in the past three years, and (our ability) to battle the elements and play well carried over into Saturday’s games.”

Alexandra Kirt and Jenna Sumner led offensively in game one. Kirt went 4-for-4 with two RBI while Sumner went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.

Sumner provided the lone RBI for St. Mary in game two, finishing 1-for- 3. Shannon Popp, who picked up the pair of losses in the circle, went 2-for-3 at the dish.

Lakers hang 31 on Buckley

Glen Lake hitters had an opportunity to pad the stat sheet on Friday in a convincing home sweep of Buckley, 15-3 (four innings) and 16-1 (five innings).

“Once we got a few hits, it just steamrolled and everybody started hitting,” Lakers coach Gary Galla said.

Kelly Bunek led with three hits, including a triple and an inside-thepark home run in game one. Reagan Middleton added two hits and three RBI; Brooke Harris had two RBI; and Kaitlyn Schaub, the winning pitcher, had two hits.

Middleton earned the win in game two, striking out four, while Lydia Drzewiecki led at the plate with three hits and four RBI. Chavela Norconk and Morgan Zywicki added two hits apiece; Zywicki and Harris had two RBI apiece.

Stags sweep Norse at home

Kingsley made quick work of visiting Suttons Bay on Friday, recording wins of 15-0 (three innings) and 11-5 (five innings).

“Kingsley can rake,” Suttons Bay co-coach Keven Cross said. “They hit the ball all over the park.”

Suttons Bay, on the other hand, had a tough time offensively. The team finished with two hits in the losses. Laura Hursey provided both in game two.

Torrey Smith and Grace Periard were tagged with losses in games one and two, respectively.

Eagles top GTA in extras

Jenna Sumner’s inside-the-park walk-off home run lifted St. Mary to a thrilling 17-16 eight-inning victory over visiting Grand Traverse Academy last Wednesday.

“In the bottom of the eighth, I told the girls just to hit the ball hard somewhere— and then to sprint for first,” St. Mary coach Teresa Szur said. “ Jenna Sumner crushed the ball—it was a grounder that hit the infield gap that the shortstop couldn’t slow down— and it ended up traveling the full 207 feet to the outfield fence between the center and left fielder. Jenna shot out of the box like she came out of a cannon and sprinted around the bases to score the winning run.”

Sumner went 4-for-5 with four RBI and two stolen bases. Emily Holmes went 2-for-2 with two RBI; Lexi Schaub went 2-for-5 with one RBI; and two players, Lindsey Fleis and Nicole Wittman, drove in one run apiece.

Shannon Popp picked up the victory, surrendering 12 hits and five walks in eight innings while striking out seven.

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