PALMER - Marquette Senior High School used one big inning in each game Wednesday to sweep host Negaunee in girls softball played in Palmer.
The Redettes notched three runs in the third inning of the first game in a 4-2 triumph, then scored all of their runs in the fifth inning of the second contest to claim a 5-1 triumph.
Amanda Gray was a big factor in both. She hit a two-run single in the opener, then came up a double short of hitting for the cycle in the second while going 3-for-4.
Marquette Senior High School starting pitcher Senja Liimatta throws against Negaunee High School on Wednesday in Palmer. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
Negaunee High School’s Nicole Violetta throws to first base Wednesday against Marquette Senior High School in Palmer. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
"She's our catalyst," MSHS head coach Paul Seibert said, noting Gray's solo homer was her third circuit clout this season. "She was hot in the Dome (during the Spring Swing Tournament), but didn't see the ball well in Gladstone (Tuesday).
"After her first two at-bats (Wednesday), she settled in at the plate."
Brooke Houle added two singles in the first game for the Redettes (4-3 overall), while teammate Sydney Cornock belted a key three-run double in the nightcap.
Marquette 4, Negaunee 2
R H E
Marquette 003 001 0 4 5 1
Negaunee 100 010 0 2 3 0
WP: Senja Liimatta, 7IP, 2R, 3H, 10K, 2BB
LP: Rosalie Anderson, 5IP, 3R, 5H, 6K, 2BB
Marquette: Brooke Houle, 2-4; Amanda Gray, two-run single
Negaunee: Taylor Ring, RBI-single
Marquette 5, Negaunee 1
Marquette 000 050 0 5 8
Negaunee 100 000 0 1 3
WP: Aubrey Reynold-Erspamer, 7IP, 1R, 3H, 5K, 0BB
LP: Adena Anderson, 7IP, 5R, 8H, 3K, 1BB
Marquette: Amanda Gray, single, triple, solo HR; Sydney Cornock, single, three-run double
Negaunee: Nicole Richer, single, RBI-double
"We kept stranding runners early, but then we really got our bats going (in the second game)," Seibert said. "I told the girls before the fifth inning to focus more and they did."
Aubrey Reynold-Erspamer was brought up from the MSHS junior varsity to pitch in the second game. She allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out five.
"She did a tremendous job," Seibert said. "She controlled the ball well."
Adena Anderson shouldered the loss, giving up eight hits and a walk while fanning three.
"Overall, she threw well," NHS head coach Randy Carlson said, "but we've got a lot of work to do. There weren't a whole lot of positives for us today."
Nicole Richer hit a single and run-scoring double for the Miners.
In the opener, Senja Liimatta tossed a three-hitter for the Redettes. She walked two and fanned 10.
"She settled in with her pitches," Seibert said. "Our bats were sporadic in the game, though.
"Gray's two-run single got us going."
Negaunee pitcher Rosalie Anderson took the defeat. She surrendered five hits and two walks in five innings of work while striking out six.
Taylor Ring hit an RBI-single for the Miners.
"Both games were basically one inning. That was the difference," Carlson said. "We didn't hit the ball in either game.
"We just have to go back to the drawing board."