Eskymos softball tops Gladstone
ESCANABA — The Escanaba Eskymos earned a 6-0 softball win over the Gladstone Braves Tuesday evening in Escanaba.
In addition to the rivalry match-up, it was also a big night for the Eskymos as they celebrated their seniors and parents with senior and parent night at the field.
While the Eskymos took advantage of some mistakes from the Gladstone squad, the game was closer than the score would indicate with an intriguing pitcher’s battle between the Braves Montgomery Pepin — who went the whole game — and the Eskymos starting pitcher Grayson LaMarche and closer McKayla Mott.
“We took advantage of the mistakes, but I don’t feel we hit the ball very well,” said Escanaba coach Andy Fields. “But, at the same time, Montgomery Pepin pitched a really good game today. She mixed up really well, and she works hard, and she’s a good pitcher.”
Montgomery Pepin finished the game with six strikeouts and four walks, giving up seven hits for six total runs, four earned.
For Esky, LaMarche and Mott combined for a one-hitter. LaMarche fanned eight and walked one while giving up the only Gladstone hit — a two-base shot from Tia Schone — while Mott struck out four.
The Eskymos also allowed Samara Sanville aboard on an error.
“Our strength is, obviously, our pitching, and we played a clean game for the most part,” said Fields. “We had the one error on the pitcher’s mound but other than that, it was a good game for us.”
Escanaba scored early, with Paxton Bullen scoring on a sacrifice fly from Carney Salo in the first.
Bullen led the team offensively going 2-4 with a pair of RBIs on a fly ball double to center field.
Defensively, the Braves had several bright spots throughout the game, including a play between Kenzingtin Pepin in left field and Addie Trombley at third that stopped McKayla Mott from reaching third on a would-be triple.
“That was a great play that gave us some momentum,” said Braves coach Rick Pepin. “Tia Schone, her throw on the run, that is an impressive play for a young lady.”
While the Braves have shown moments of solid play, they are still working on putting all of the bits together, said coach Pepin.
“We saw some really great glimpses and some really strong stretch of defense on our side, and that just gets me excited,” said coach Pepin. “But, we still haven’t put all the pieces together yet, and that is strictly the mental side. We’re growing there, and it’s starting to happen. And, we’re almost there. We’re not too far off.
“The other side to that is the first inning we made some mental errors, and Escanaba took advantage of that, and I felt we were really fortunate to only give up one run. But, that’s because we are getting better. I just feel like we beat ourselves, and they took advantage of it.”
The Eskymos continue their 11-games in six days stretch with two doubleheaders in the next two days.
Today, Escanaba visits Negaunee to play the Miners while they travel to Norway to face the Knights Thursday.
For the Braves, they travel south to play the Maroons of Menominee then host Charlevoix and Traverse City St. Francis this weekend in Gladstone.