ISHPEMING - With wind chill temperatures in the mid-30s and a light drizzle, conditions for girls softball at the Ishpeming Playgrounds were less than stellar Thursday.
"The conditions had a considerable impact on everyone," Ishpeming High School manager Jeremy Thompson said, "especially for the pitchers trying to grip the ball."
His Hematites managed to fight off the miserable weather and the Gwinn Modeltowners, however, to claim an 11-3 triumph in a game called in the fifth inning due to a mercy rule.
Cheyanne Wedgworth of Ishpeming High School attempts a bunt during Thursday’s softball game against visiting Gwinn at the Ishpeming Playgrounds. IHS won, 11-3. (Journal photo by Craig Remsburg)
A scheduled second game was canceled due to the weather.
"Despite the cold and wet weather, my girls came to play," Thompson said.
That was evident in the first inning. The Hematites got a leadoff inside-the-park home run from Emily Myers in a four-run surge. Myers went 3-for-4 on the day.
"That set the tone for our bats," Thompson said. "We came out hitting the ball. The four runs opened a lot of avenues for us."
The Hematites (3-2) added three runs in the second and after Gwinn (0-5) notched three of their own in the third, scored three more in the fourth to put the Modeltowners away.
"It's hard starting out when it's already cold out," Gwinn manager Maria Slater said. "We didn't do anything offensively to start the game and (the Hematites) came out with their bats.
"They took advantage of that first inning.
"But we worked as a team, were more comfortable in our positions and stayed on our toes," she added. "We're starting to get hits now. We're offensively competitive."
Winning pitcher Sinaed Korvela complemented teammate Myers with her arm and her bat.
Korvela allowed four hits and walked seven in five innings of work while striking out 12. At the plate, she went 3 for 3 with an inside-the-park homer.
For Gwinn, losing pitcher Bella Wedig and Brooke Luokkala both had a single and an RBI.
Wedig surrendered 11 hits and walked six on the mound. She fanned five.
Thompson said Myers turned her left ankle running out an infield single in the fifth inning.
"She stepped on the middle of the base and her spikes slipped," he said. "Her toe caught the dirt, she was off balance and rolled her ankle."
Thompson added he lost his No. 1 starting pitcher, Caitlin Korvela, to an ankle injury Tuesday in a game against Westwood High School.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251.