Gladstone, Esky win in Girls Minor

ESCANABA — Montgomery Pepin fired a no-hitter, struck out 14 and walked three Friday night as the Gladstone Minor Girls’ Little League All-Stars (age 9-10) eliminated Norway 10-0 in five innings from the District 10 tournament at Lemerand Park.

“She did a much better job overall tonight,” said Gladstone head coach Rick Pepin. “Montgomery got into a rhythm and was solid from the beginning on. As a team, we were much more relaxed and confident. We were more aggressive at the plate than we were yesterday (in a 7-2 loss to Escanaba). I think much of that has to do with getting the first game under our belts.”

Esky, behind the no-hit pitching of Grayson LaMarche, blanked Kingsford 9-0 in Friday’s nightcap.

“Grayson looked very good again tonight,” said coach Pepin.

Friday’s opener concluded with Lauren Sundquist’s walk-off three-run, inside-the-park home run in the fifth. Maggie Buckley and Samantha Drielick had two hits apiece for Gladstone.

Grace Kleikamp also pitched the entire game and took the loss. She fanned six.

“She (Kleikamp) had her moments,” said coach Pepin. “We scored five in the first, then she kept us scoreless in the next three innings. In fact, she struck out the side in the fourth. Jo Jo Seidel caught our attention as a nice second-baseman. We hit the ball in her direction all night and she had a great outing.”

Gladstone faces Kingsford today at 3 (EDT), with the winner meeting Esky in Sunday’s title contest at 3. Another game, if needed, will be played Monday at 6.