LaMarche, Bray flawless, Escanaba softball seniors shine in home finale

Escanaba senior Carly McInerney connects with a pitch during a game against Marquette on May 20, 2024 at Abrahamson Field in Escanaba. McInerney went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI in her final home game. ("The Big Dog" Mitch Vosburg/Daily Press)

ESCANABA –Grayson LaMarche and Landry Bray combined to throw a perfect game as Escanaba softball thwarted Marquette 11-0 in six inning Monday at Abrahamson Field.

“We weren’t sure what to expect today,” Esky skipper Andy Fields said. “But today turned out to be a great day and a great day for our seniors.”

LaMarche started things off in the circle and, in typical fashion, got batters to swing and miss for strike three. In fact, nine of the first 10 outs she recorded came on a swinging strike three, including eight-straight swingingstrikeouts before a lineout to third baseman Katey Lamb served as the second out of the fourth inning. LaMarche added two swinging strikeouts in the fifth.

In total, LaMarche retired all 15 batters she faced. 11 of them fell victim to a swinging strikeout.

“I wasn’t planning on going the distance with Grayson,” Fields admitted. “But she was so into it that it worked and went really well.”

Bray then assumed cleanup duties in the sixth with an 11-0 lead in her back pocket. Just like they did with Lamarche, the Sentinels swung and missed at strike three against Bray, who fanned all three batters she faced to end the game.

In total, the Eskymos got 14 of 18 outs courtesy of a swinging strike three. And while LaMarche and Bray dazzled in the circle, the tandem’s respective outings played supporting cast.

Monday also served as the Eskymos’ final home game of the 2024 season. For seniors Carly McInerney, Anna Boutilier and Taylor Forvilly, it was their last game at Abrahamson Field. It was also the last time they’ll play inside the confines of Lemmerand Park.

And, in typical Esky fashion over the past three weeks, there was no shortage of aluminum bats violently connecting with a neon green ball with runs continually adding up on the scoreboard.

While the Sentinels ended the first inning and started the second inning thanks to a double play, a single from Carly Bowden turned the tide. Sophomore Harlee Coolman tripled to right field. Esky led 1-0 after two.

After being retired in order in the third, the Eskymos (24-7) got a lead-off double in the fourth from LaMarche. Lamb cranked the first pitch she saw in the ensuing at bat up the gut and into the grass. After a throw and an error she found herself standing on third, and the Eskymos led 2-0 with the tide suddenly shifting to the orange and black.

Bowden drove in Lamb off a sacrifice fly. Boutilier added a RBI single and McInerney added a RBI triple for a 6-0 lead.

The fifth was wash, rinse and repeat out of the gate for the Eskymos when LaMarche earned a lead-off double and Lamb earning a RBI knock off a three-bagger. Bowden added another sacrifice hit to score Lamb and balloon the lead to 8-0. Engebretson added a RBI single and McInerney belted a two-run double for an 11-0 lead.McInerney finished 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. LaMarche finished 3-for-3 with two doubles. Lamb finished 2-for-2 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored.

Bowden finished 2-for-3 with two RBI. Harlee Coolman finished 2-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored, a RBI and a stolen base.

Boutilier finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Engebretson finished 1-for-2 with a RBI and run scored. Clara Braun finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base.

“Today went off without a hitch,” Fields said. “Overall, I’m really happy with how the team performed.”

The Eskymos hit the road for a doubleheader against Gladstone at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today