Esky minor softball blanks Norway
ESCANABA — The Escanaba All-Stars blanked the Norway All-Stars 11-0 in a 9-10 Minor All-Star Softball district tournament opener in Escanaba Wednesday night.
After a two-day delay due to weather, the game — which was originally scheduled for Monday — was finally played in its entirety.
Escanaba pitcher Emma Parlato threw a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts. The only other out was a grounder that Parlato scooped up and tossed to Mara Anderson at first base.
“She’s got good speed for (her age),” said Escanaba coach John Noblet about Parlato. “She’s got good speed for about two years no and she’s really progressing as a pitcher.”
Noblet was happy with the way the team had their bats going after the two-day wait from the rain.
“I was happy everyone got the bat on the ball,” he said. “I’d like to see a little bit more of those fall in and give us some more hits. But, I was overall happy with what we did. Especially with the long layoff with the two rainouts, I was happy.”
Singles from Hannah Trombley and Emma Parlato and a double by Koeller Hayes each drove in runs early in the game.
Kinsley Williams also had a nice high fly double to centerfield to drive in two runs — Hayes and Abby Derkos — in the fifth inning.
Noblet commented that the wait to get on the field built up some nerves within the Escanaba team.
“We’ve played quite a few games already this summer, (and) I think our nerves were a little bit more just trying to get things going,” he said. “But once we started going, it was easy rolling all the way through.
“(I’m) just proud of my girls and hope we keep doing what we are doing.”
Norway, according to coach Katie LaPine, is a team still meshing and learning to play together. The contest against Escanaba was the first as a team for the Norway All-Stars.
Among the challenges the team has faced as they gel is learning the rules of a new league.
“Our league is really different the way that we play,” said Lapine. “There is still some coach pitching, and you can’t steal home and it’s one base on an overthrow. … Bunting was new for us, sliding was new for us.
“They’re just kind of learning each other’s names. The fact they hung in for as long as they did, I was really proud of them.”
Defensively, Norway had multiple standout moments.
Pitcher Ava Michaud snagged an absolute rocket of a comeback liner for an out to the applause of both Norway and Escanaba fans alike.
Catcher Devynn Ross made several on-target throws to second that were just beat out by Escanaba runners as well as a heads-up catch on a pop-up foul ball for an out.
Abree LaPine also played well at shortstop and scooped up several groundballs in for outs.
“I thought they had some really good plays in there, and they made some really good stops,” said coach LaPine.
By the final inning, it seemed Norway’s confidence in the batter’s box was beginning to climb, evidenced by a long at-bat from Ella Mick who made contact with the ball four times in the effort.
“If we can just get the bat on the ball tomorrow, I think we’re going to be just fine,” said coach LaPine. “I think, in the sixth inning, we found out we can be a little more confident in or bunting, and that can maybe give us some more movement.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. Get some runs on the board, make some plays; that’s all I can ask for from them. I’m just really proud of them. They played well with all the new stuff they had to learn.”
The best two-of-three series continues today in Escanaba with the first game at 5 p.m. The winner of the series will head downstate to enter the state tournament.