ESCANABA - It was a productive weekend for the Escanaba nine and 10-year-old girls' Little League All-Stars as they opened with a pair of softball victories in the District 10 tournament.
Esky opened with a 5-2 triumph over Gladstone Saturday night, followed by a 15-3 conquest of Kingsford in five innings on Sunday.
The victories enabled Esky to advance to the championship round, which begins Tuesday at 6 p.m.
"We're on the good side of the bracket and we want to stay there," said Esky manager Jamie Segorski. "This saves on pitching, which is huge."
Gladstone, which beat Norway 8-2 on Sunday, returns to Lemerand Park to face Kingsford in an elmination game today at 5.
Esky's Carsyn Segorski tossed a two-hitter, struck out 10 and walked two. She also led the winners on offense by going 4-for-4.
Segorski led off the first with an inside-the-park home run to centerfield. Bailey Barron then scored Esky's second run on a passed ball.
"Carsyn hit the ball well and pitched pretty well," said manager Segorski. "She's a pretty tough kid who focuses on throwing the ball hard. She sometimes gets behind in the count, but throws strikes when she needs to. It was nice to get her some innings."
Lily Wilcox scored Kingsford's first run on a fielding error in the second.
Esky responded by scoring four times for a 6-1 advantage in its half of the second.
Kingsford trimmed its deficit to 6-3 in the third with Emma Andrews scoring on Tallia Willis's sacrifice bunt and Teagan Petschar scoring on a passed ball.
"I thought our girls gave a good effort," said Kingsford manager David Holmes. "Our program is on the upswing. We had some good hitting and our baserunning is solid. The girls played smart. Esky just made more plays than we did."
Segorski and Barron scored on ground outs and Caydence Carter scored on an error in the fourth to hike Esky's advantage to 9-3.
Esky, fueled by Segorski's two-run single to shallow center, added three runs in the fourth and ended the game on Carter's three-run inside-the-park homer to left.
Barron finished with two hits, including an RBI single to left in the third. Lilia Hughes also had two hits.
Andrews absorbed the loss. She walked three, hit a batter and surrendered 12 hits.
Esky's Emily Moore tossed a three-hitter, fanned seven and walked one against Gladstone on Saturday. Carter had two hits.
Cecilia Pilon, who absorbed the loss, whiffed six, walked two, hit two batters and allowed seven hits.
"That was a real good game," said manager Segorski. "It doesn't matter how good either team is. When Escanaba plays Gladstone it's always going to be a real good game."
Gladstone bounced back against Norway on Sunday behind Tori Zeise's one-hit pitching. She struck out 14 and walked six.
Lauren Bell and Carney Salo paced Gladstone with three hits each. Pilon and Abby Stephenson added two apiece.
Kassi Gyselick took the loss. She fanned nine, walked two and gave up 11 hits.