2017-06-08 / Sports

Bunt-happy Eagles rally past Glen Lake, win district

St. Mary to play regional host Rogers City at 10 a.m. Saturday
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


ST. MARY players hoist the District 104 trophy after their 7-2 win over Glen Lake in Suttons Bay on Saturday. ST. MARY players hoist the District 104 trophy after their 7-2 win over Glen Lake in Suttons Bay on Saturday. For the first time in 12 years, Lake Leelanau St. Mary softball players are district champions.

A barrage of well-placed bunts and a strong showing from sophomore pitcher Shannon Popp propelled the Lady Eagles to a 7-2 win over Glen Lake in the District 104 championship game in Suttons Bay on Saturday, giving St. Mary its first district title since 2006.

“It was so awesome to be able to fight together as a team,” senior infielder Emily Holmes said after the game. “We were confident, we had courage, we competed, and we communicated.”

The Lakers (20-18) struck first in the top of the first inning on the strength of savvy base running from Kelly Bunek and an RBI from Lydia Drzewiecki—but would not cross home plate again.

The Eagles (23-9) trailed 2-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning but broke through when coach Teresa Szur decided to make a switch to small ball.


ST. MARY players react after recording the final out against Glen Lake. ST. MARY players react after recording the final out against Glen Lake. A five-run outburst, which included a two-RBI bunt from Christy Ball and a two-RBI single from Nicole Wittman, quickly turned a one-run deficit into a comfortable four-run St. Mary lead.

“I tell the girls all the time that your spot in the batting order doesn’t really mean anything after the first inning,” Szur said. “Anyone could end up being the leadoff hitter, the clean-up hitter, etc. We got a runner on and started to execute at the plate by laying down two or three perfect bunts in a row. The girls ran aggressively and took advantage of any hesitation on the part of Glen Lake fielders.”

Glen Lake didn’t go down easy.

The Lakers loaded the bases twice before all was said and done, but Popp and the Eagles managed to escape unscathed. The game ended on an infield pop-up, sparking celebrations on the diamond, near the St. Mary dugout and in the stands nearby.

“We just didn’t come up with a big hit,” Glen Lake coach Gary Galla said. “Shannon did a good job of pitching and they played good defense. We had one bad inning, and that’s all it takes.”

Popp pitched all seven innings, giving up just six hits, one walk and two runs while striking out four and stranding eight. She and Lexi Schaub each delivered two hits and drove in one run. Wittman finished with two hits, as well.

Reagan Middleton, Chavela Norconk and Katie Scott supplied two hits apiece for Glen Lake.

The Eagles will look to stay hot against Region 29 tournament host Rogers City on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The winner will take on either Gaylord St. Mary or Whittemore- Prescott in the regional final at 11:30.

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