Several local athletes compete in U.P. All-Star softball doubleheader

Marquette’s Megan McIntire steals second base as Escanaba’s Taylor Gauthier receives the throw during the UP All-Star softball game on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, at Marion Park in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NORWAY — Team Nord and Team Bal split the softball UP All-Star doubleheader on Wednesday at Marion Park.

Team Nord took the first game 13-9 before Team Bal took the second game 15-7.

Team Bal was coach by Norway High School head coach Bob Bal while Team Nord was coached by Manistique head coach Jessica Nord.

“It’s fun. Everyone who was here to play wanted to. They signed up to play,” Nord said. “It’s just fun and you could yell at the umpires and they can’t do anything to you, because what are they going to do to you?”

Thirty-four players from 13 schools across the UP participated in the doubleheader. All the players were seniors. The schools ranged from Ironwood to Munising and Houghton to Negaunee. Six of the MHSAA Division 2 state champion Escanaba Eskymos also played.

Local players that competed were Negaunee’s Faith Toutant, Malorie Munson and Alexis Hill; Ishpeming’s Emma Bleau and Kayla Kaukola; Marquette’s Ashlyn Steer, Megan McIntire and Stasha Warchock; and Munising’s Kelsea Ackerman, Marissa Ackerman, Taletha Witty and Keira Stampfly. Tori Tyner and Tiffany Nareski represented Superior Central.

Nord, with six years leading the Emeralds program, coached two of her players for the final time – Renae Schuetter and Lexi Russell.

“Lexi was a four-year starter and Renae a three-year starter. They played very well for us,” Nord said. “They’ll be difficult for us to replace next year. They’re great players, great attitude. Even today, they didn’t play a lot but they didn’t care. They were here to have fun.”