Best of the best

RAPID RIVER – Recent Ishpeming High School graduate Sinead Korvela found a way to keep opposing hitters off balance Tuesday night as she helped the North All-Stars post a 2-1 victory over the South in the second of two Upper Peninsula All-Star softball games.

South unleashed a 15-hit attack in a 13-2 triumph in the opener.

Korvela fired a three-hitter, struck out 10 and walked three in the nightcap.

“My curve was working good,” said Korvela, who will play softball at Wisconsin-Green Bay next season. “I mixed it up with an inside and outside (combination). I thought I would only pitch two innings, but they (coaching staff) decided to keep me in there.”

South mounted a major threat in the seventh when Gladstone’s Sam Sailer drilled a one-out triple to rightfield. She was then thrown out in a rundown between third and home a short time later.

Rapid River’s Hannah Kanyuh, who reached base on a fielder’s choice during that play, ended up on third with two out. South, however, was unable to get the equalizer.

“I just focused on getting strikouts and going home with the ball,” said Korvela. “It was nice having a defense behind me that made plays. I’m really excited about having a chance to play in college. Being able to pitch against good hitters I think helped me a lot. I had to focus on hitting the spots. Everybody did a good job on both teams.”

Rapid River’s George Kanyuh, who managed the South squad, was impressed with Korvela’s performance and pleased with the fan turnout.

“She definitely did a good job tonight for the North team,” he said. “It was a fun day for all. We had two good games and the girls had a lot of fun with the contests between the games. This was a gorgeous summer day. We couldn’t have asked for a better day for softball. I saw a lot of people and long lines at the concession stand, which we usually don’t have.”

Newberry’s Kelsey Huffman gave South the early lead on a single through the pitcher’s box.

Marquette’s Aubrey Reynolds-Erspamer drove in the tying run on a sacrifice fly to center in the fourth and fellow Redette Jillian Frye scored the game-winner on a throwing error.

Rapid River’s Erika Schwartz pitched the first four innings and absorbed the loss. She fanned six straight hitters in the opening three frames and finished with seven strikeouts. She didn’t walk anybody and allowed three hits.

Manistique’s Bre Richey then pitched three innings of no-hit relief. She fanned three and walked two.

Norway’s Bobbi Hulce ripped a home run over the leftfield fence on the opening pitch of the first game.

South scored three times in the opening frame before North got a run back in its half of the first.

Hannah Kanyuh’s single to right extended South’s lead to 4-1 in the fourth and Rapid River’s Dominique Pavlat drilled a three-run triple to left for a 7-1 advantage in the fifth.

Richey then made it 8-1 on a single to right-center, also in the fifth.

Ishpeming’s Hailly Thompson drove in North’s second run on a sacrfice fly to center in the sixth. South then scored five times in the seventh.

Pavlat and Richey finished with three hits each. Gladstone’s Katie Wyman went 2-for-2. Sailer and Knuth also had two hits apiece. North had just four hits.

“It definitely started with Bobbi’s home run,” said Knuth, who will attend Michigan State this fall. “She’s a good hitter and Dominique always batted behind me during the high school season. When I got on base, it was nice having that reassurance that Dominique would get me in. She was also good in centerfield. Being selected to play here is really cool. It was nice to play here one last time with pretty much the best players in the U.P.”

In the between-game activities, Norway’s Harlie Caster ran the fastest around the bases in 12.4 seconds and won the pitching accuracy contest. Sault Ste. Marie’s Alli Krupa copped the home run derby and Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Abby Sutherland was the overhand throwing contest winner.