Win and advance: Ishpeming High School softball team beats L’Anse, Baraga for MHSAA Division 4 district tournament championship

The Ishpeming High School softball team holds up their fingers with the “No. 1” sign and its championship trophy after defeating Baraga 10-3 in the finals of the MHSAA Division 4 district tournament held at the Ishpeming Ballfield Complex on Friday. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

ISHPEMING — It took a long, eventful and sunny Friday for Ishpeming High School to emerge as champions of the MHSAA Division 4 district tournament held at the Hematites’ field in Ishpeming.

IHS clinched the title with 10-3 victory over Baraga in the tourney championship game.

In earlier semifinals on Friday, the Hematites upended L’Anse 15-0 while the Vikings took out Forest Park 13-3. Both games were called early due to the 15- and 10-run rules.

Ishpeming advanced to a Division 4 regional to be held at Bark River-Harris on Saturday. The Hematites play in the first semifinal against Hancock at 11 a.m. EDT, followed by Superior Central facing Norway at 1 p.m. EDT. The championship game pits those winners at 3 p.m. with a berth in the quarterfinals to be played in Sault Ste. Marie next Tuesday on the line.

“Yes,” Ishpeming head coach Ben McGuire said when asked if his team is ready for the regionals. “No doubt about it; we’re right where we need to be.”

Baraga’s Emmy Bobula takes a cut during the Vikings’ game against Ishpeming for the MHSAA Division 4 district championship at the Ishpeming Ballfield Complex on Friday. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

Here is a roundup of Saturday’s games:


Baraga 13, Forest Park 3

On Saturday morning, the Vikings jumped out quickly, taking three times in the first inning and establishing a 7-0 lead after two.

“We just had some really good plays,” Baraga head coach Martina Jahfetson said. “Cori (Jahfetson) had a double, jumping up and snagging a catch, making a play with it.

Ishpeming’s Miley Phillips touches first base safely during the Hematites’ win over Baraga in the MHSAA Division 4 district tournament championship game played at the Ishpeming Ballfield Complex on Friday. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

“Mia Coronado got the same thing, running in for a fly ball and made a tag at second (base) for it. Nothing but excellence from this team in this game.”

Lauren Kudwa hit a solo homer to get FP on the scoreboard in the third, but the Trojans still trailed by six.

“It was a true home run and that was her first one,” FP coach Kimberly Pekarek said.

Then Alli Bobula, Emmy Bobula, Cori Jahfetson and Madyson Pantti scored for Baraga in the bottom of the inning to make it 11-1. 

The teams traded single runs in the fourth, Alli Bobula scoring for Baraga and Dalaney Wagner hitting another Trojans’ homer to make it 12-2.

“Dalaney Wagner is our cleanup hitter, she’s a sophomore, second year in the program,” Pekarek said. “We knew that she’s been a big hitter all along. In the middle of the season she had a little bit of a hitting slump, but she definitely performed well for us in the postseason.”


Ishpeming 10, Baraga 3

In mid-afternoon Friday, the Vikings took an early lead with Alli Bobula scoring a run, though Ishpeming answered with runs by Ava Jo Hares and Payton Manninen as Manninen hit a homer to put the Hematites up 2-1 after two.

The third through fifth innings proved that Ishpeming’s speed on the base could counter Baraga’s defense, even with a Cori Jahfetson homer for the Vikings.

“It feels good,” McGuire said about the win. “This is our third win in a row … the kids played outstanding. It was really hot and the kids just fought through it. Baraga put up a good fight.”

Baraga’s Martina Jahfetson concurred it was a good battle.

“We still did great … we had good plays, we had good hits,” she said. “It didn’t go our way, but I can’t be any less proud. They did phenomenal.”

Alexandria Bournonville can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 506. Her email address is abournonville@miningjournal.net.


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