Three of four D-4 softball teams ousted

IRONWOOD – Hosting a district tournament for the first time, the Ironwood softball team defeated Jeffers, playing in its first postseason game, 14-4 in five innings Tuesday.

The Devils advance to play Ishpeming in Friday’s MHSAA Division 4 District 97 semifinal at 11 a.m. in Ironwood.

Ishpeming beat Hancock 18-5 Tuesday at Ironwood.

In Friday’s other semifinal, Norway will play L’Anse at 1 p.m. Norway beat Lake Linden 19-5 and L’Anse defeated Stephenson 24-0.

The final is at 3 p.m. Friday.

The young Red Devils didn’t come in with a lot of playoff experience either.

“The girls are happy with winning the first game in the districts,” Ironwood coach Noel Aho said. “It was new for a lot of them, but I don’t think they’re settling for how they’ve played. There were a few errors they had that they shouldn’t have. This was a first-year team. They know against a more seasoned team they can’t make those errors.”

It was the Jets who flew to a 2-0 first-inning lead. Haley Makela started the rally with a two-out walk, Alexa Clouthier followed with a double and Ashley Lehto reached on an outfield error. Makela and Clouthier scored.

Ironwood tied it in the bottom of the inning. Lacey Rimkus’ triple plated Paige Aho, who doubled. Rimkus scored on a wild pitch.

The Red Devils pulled ahead with two runs in the second inning and broke it open with seven in the third inning.

Ironwood scored a run in the fourth to go up by 10 runs, but Jeffers added two in the fifth to force Ironwood to bat in the fifth. Mieloszyk’s single scored two runs to end the game early.

“We started off good, but then a few people had errors,” Jeffers manager David Archambeau said. “This is a young team. We’ve only had two people that played before. It’s been a learning experience without getting on the field right away this year. Bad spring. Our first game was our first practice on a field basically. We had a tough season in the beginning, but these girls pulled through. We played Lake Linden the first game and Lake Linden our last (regular-season) game and we couldn’t believe the improvement we had just in that short of time.”

Paige Aho picked up the win for Ironwood. With Ironwood up just 4-2 in the third, Aho picked up a bases-loaded strikeout to end the threat.

Ishpeming 18,

Hancock 5

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.

Ishpeming generated little offense until finding its stride in the third.

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 an amazing 13 batters among her 15 outs.

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, Thompson also including a double and collecting six RBIs. Myers knocked in three runs and scored three times while doubling.

For Hancock, Brianne Maggio had a two-RBI single and Heather Huffmaster an RBI single, but those turned out to be the Bulldogs’ only hits.

Norway 19,

Lake Linden-Hubbell 5

Norway pulled away from Lake Linden-Hubbell to advance in the Division 4 district tournament.

Taylor Shepeard led the Lakes’ offense, going 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. Kyleigh Audette, Sarah Audette, Jana Hendrickson and Ciara Larson had LL-H’s other hits, with Sarah Audette and Hendrickson driving in runs.

Jacey Paul, Bobbi Hulse and Ashley Zanon posted two hits apiece for Norway.

Harlie Caster was the winning pitcher for the Knights, allowing four earned runs on six hits with five walks. Sarah Audette took the loss, allowing nine earned runs, eight hits and seven walks.

No information was provided on the fourth quarterfinal as the Purple Hornets crushed the Eagles for a berth in the semis Friday at 1 p.m.