Superior Central Cougars softball team blows through Rapid River district to advance to regionals

RAPID RIVER — Superior Central proved to be the class of the MHSAA Division 4 district softball tournament that was held in Rapid River on Friday.

The Cougars outscored their opponents in two games 41-4 while advancing to the regional tourney scheduled for Bark River-Harris on Saturday.

SC blew past Alger County rival Munising 22-0 in three innings in the semifinals, then needed four innings to dispatch Newberry 19-4 for the championship.

Sophomore Sammy Johnson picked up both pitching wins, throwing a shortened no-hitter to open the day before scattering six hits in the nightcap.

Teammate Alice Hancock totaled six hits at the plate over the two games, which included five extra-base hits that led to nine RBIs and seven runs scored.

“We’ve been able to hit the ball hard all spring, even off good pitchers,” SC head coach Richard Swajanen said. “We just have to fix our fielding, and I do see it getting a little bit better in our recent games.

“If we can keep the walks down and errors in check, we can give Norway a good run for their money.”

Norway will provide the opposition in the regional semis at 1 p.m. EDT Saturday. The other semifinal pits Ishpeming and Hancock at 11 a.m. before the championship game is played at 3 p.m.

The regional winner advances to a Division 4 quarterfinal that is scheduled for Sault Ste. Marie at 5 p.m. next Tuesday. The opponent will be the winner of the Rudyard regional culled from districts played at Rudyard and three northern Lower Peninsula locations.

On Friday, the Cougars jumped out right away in their win over Munising, scoring 11 runs in the top of the first inning, then getting another 10 in the third to invoke the 15-run rule after just three innings.

Hancock finished with four hits, including two doubles and a triple while knocking in six and scoring four times.

Johnson went all three innings on the pitching rubber and didn’t allow a hit while walking two as she struck out six.

SC’s Maddie Begovac added three hits, including a double and had three RBIs and three runs.

Kristin Joyner pitched all three innings for the Mustangs, allowing 13 hits and 15 walks while fanning two.

Newberry provided the opposition in the district final after the Indians pounded tourney host Rapid River 17-6 in the other semifinal.

But the Cougars just kept rolling, scoring in all four innings, including eight runs in the first and six more in the third. Newberry put together a three-run rally in its half of the third.

Johnson again pitched the entire game, scattering six hits and four walks while she K’d nine.

Hancock had a triple and double, three RBIs and three runs, though the No. 1 hitting star actually had to be Addie Frusti, who went 3 for 3 with a double, five RBIs, two runs and a walk.

Johnson aided her own cause at the plate, collecting a pair of singles, two RBIs, three runs and two walks.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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