NORWAY - From 27 losses to conference champions.
The third-year Norway High School girls softball team, with 4-3 and 8-5 victories over visiting Negaunee Friday, captured its first Mid-Peninsula Conference title.
"I had my hopes set on a split," Knights coach Scott Conery said of his mindset heading into Friday's action. "I thought that would be a huge step for us. To get two was really special."
A Norway team that debuted with a 27-loss season in 2011 has now run its record to 21-6 overall and 9-0 in league play - handing the Miners their first conference losses this season.
In the first game, it was Rachel Conery blasting a three-run home run in the first inning.
The four runs proved to be enough for Ashley Zanon in the circle. Zanon scattered four hits while striking out four, overcoming nine walks.
Norway led 8-0 in game two, thanks to a six-run fourth, when Conery tripled.
The Knights had nine hits while Negaunee got five and scored most of its runs with help from seven walks.
Pitcher Adena Anderson lost in Game 1, while sister Rosalie fell in Game 2.
Ishpeming gets split
At Kingsford, a 5-4 eight-inning loss to host Kingsford left Ishpeming (6-7) with a doubleheader split. In the opener, IHS romped, 13-6.
The Hematites' Gabby Croley hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh of Game 2 to forge a 4-4 tie.
But Kingsford's Kasey Lee hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning to win.
"We had two runners on in the top of the eighth, but our runner at third tried to steal home and was thrown out," Ishpeming manager Jeremy Thompson said.
Caitlin Korvela, who took the loss in relief, went 3 for 5 and scored a run. Teammate Lindsey Thompson chipped in two hits, including a triple.
In the opener, the Hematites posted 18 hits.
Sinead Korvela went 3 for 3 with a homer and two RBI; Lindsey Thompson turned in a 3-for-5 performance and drove in five runs; and Emily Myers went 3 for 5 and scored three runs.
"Our bats came out and set the pace for the game," manager Thompson said.