EBEN - The hitting wasn't always timely, but 30 hits combined were enough to get senior pitcher Senja Liimatta and the Marquette Redettes a high school softball sweep at Superior Central on Friday.
MSHS (14-13) scored seven runs in the fifth inning en route to an 11-1 victory in the opener, then left the bases loaded three times but still managed to escape with a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
"It was good to see the girls hit a lot of hard shots," Marquette coach Paul Seibert said. "Superior Central made some nice plays to save a bunch of runs (in Game 2)."
He noted a shoestring catch by Cougars rightfielder Beth Pirman, who had one of her team's three hits and knocked in the only run.
Liimatta worked the first three innings, allowing no hits and walking two while striking out four.
Junior teammates Brooke Houle and Courtney Finkbeiner each had three hits.
In the opener, Liimatta went all seven innings, fanning 12 while allowing five hits and a walk.
Houle went 4-for-5 with a double and RBI, while Finkbeiner, senior Amber Beaudry and freshman Chelsea Wiggins had two hits apiece.
SC's Molly Swajanen was 3-for-3 with a home run over the fence and a double.
Beaudry's two-run double in the fifth ignited a string of five straight hits for the Redettes.
At Escanaba Thursday, the Redettes couldn't stay with the Eskymos, losing 7-0 and 13-3.
The Redettes managed just three hits in the opener, though they had several threats and trailed 1-0 until the fifth inning.
Liimatta was tagged with the Game 1 loss, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out six.
In the nightcap, the Eskymos jumped out with five runs in the first.
Marquette didn't get on the board until the fifth as Wiggins, Seibert and junior Amanda Gray each had RBI singles.
At Gwinn on Thursday, the Miners' 16-6 and 14-0 sweep coupled with Norway's split at Ishpeming gave Negaunee the Mid-Peninsula Conference title with a 10-2 record, a game ahead of the Knights.
"We've had our moments this year being a Jekyll and Hyde team, but it's nice for our seniors to go out as conference champions," NHS coach Randy Carlson said.
Negaunee pulled away in the opener after leading just 5-4 through two innings. Junior Adena Anderson got the pitching victory, allowing six hits while striking out five and not walking anybody.
At the plate, Anderson went 3 for 4 with a double while senior sister Rosalie Anderson added a 2-for-5 performance, including a two-run single in the decisive six-run third.
Gwinn freshman Kori Kevern, who was 3 for 4 at the plate, absorbed the pitching loss.
In the second game, Negaunee freshman hurler Hailey Fezatt allowed just two hits and no walks in her four-inning stint, striking out six.
Paced by two-hit performances from seniors Jayda Johnson and Taylor Ring, the Miners built a 10-0 lead in the third inning.
Ishpeming pulls off split
At Ishpeming on Thursday, the Hematites played at home for the first time this season, winning 10-3 before falling 17-7.
"I'm very happy to get a split against a team as talented all around as Norway," IHS coach Jeremy Thompson said.
Ishpeming (6-6 M-PC) spotted the Knights (9-3 M-PC) a 3-0 lead early in the first game before rallying for nine runs between the third and fourth innings.
Junior Lindsey Thompson had a two-run single to support sophomore winning hurler Sinead Korvela, who gave up three hits and nine walks while striking out eight. Each of those players had three hits in the game.
In Game 2, Norway erased a 4-3 deficit with 10 runs in the fourth.
Sophomore Hailly Thompson and Korvela produced RBI hits and Lindsey Thompson capped it off with a two-run single in a four-run second.
Information compiled by Journal Sports Writer Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.