Westwood softball plows past Ishpeming

NATIONAL MINE — Westwood got in the tune-up it needed for Saturday’s West PAC softball tournament by easily sweeping a doubleheader from Ishpeming on Thursday.

Playing at their home field in National Mine, the Patriots won 11-1 and 16-1, the latter game going just four innings, though both victories were walkoffs by invoking the mercy rule.

The Hematites open the conference tourney today with a “play-in” game at home against Negaunee at 4 p.m.

The rest of the event takes place Saturday in Hancock and Calumet among the eight remaining squads. Westwood (14-4) faces Iron Mountain at noon in Hancock, while Ishpeming would play the host Bulldogs at Hancock at 10 a.m.

The event’s championship game will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday in Calumet.

On Thursday, Westwood’s Karlie Patron started both games on the pitching rubber, getting relief help from Allie Radcliffe in each game. Between them, they didn’t walk a batter all day.

“That’s quite something, a high school doubleheader without a walk,” WHS coach Jared Koski said.

It could’ve been a scoreless day for those pitchers, too, if it wasn’t for the Hematites’ Tia Mattila, who cracked a solo homer in the second inning of each contest.

“She really tattooed those two balls,” Koski said, “and she caught a lot of balls in the outfield and pitched part of the second game.”

Other than Mattila’s homers and a Korey Kaukol double in the nightcap, Ishpeming collected seven singles all day. Patron struck out nine in five innings of the opener and fanned four in two innings of Game 2. Radcliffe chalked up six Ks in her four innings total.

Hailey Hytinen and Olivia Corp started and took losses for Ishpeming, Mattila coming on in relief of the nightcap.

Ellie Miller collected two hits each game for the Patriots, homering, doubling, scoring twice and amassing three RBIs in Game 1 before adding a double and scoring two more in Game 2.

Freshman teammate Natalie Prophet also had two hits each game, hitting a double in each and collecting four RBIs in the nightcap.

Jillian Koski and Raija Stille had three hits each in the opener for Westwood, while Madi Koski had two.

Calumet 15-14, L’Anse 8-2

At Calumet, L’Anse scored its first run of the day in the second inning of the opener when Haley Nankervis initially walked and cut its deficit to 3-1. Then in the fourth, Maija Rice singled and scored on another single.

But the Purple Hornets’ big outburst came in the fifth with a four-run outburst. Josie Rice, Nankervis and Maija Rice all singled for one run, while Jaylyn Foy blasted a three-run homer for the other scoring.

In the nightcap, L’Anse got single runs in the third and fourth by Foy and Nankervis.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee with contributions from the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette. Brownlee’s email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.