Bats power Houghton past Baraga in sweep

Houghton second baseman Clea Ollanketo hits against Baraga on Tuesday, May 17, 202, in Houghton, Mich. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — The Houghton girls’ softball team has formulated a winning combination that just keeps getting better. It was on display Tuesday night by way of a she Baraga Vikings with scores of 21-8 and 12-2

The formula goes something like this: strong pitching and tough defense plus big bats equals wins.

“All the girls have been hitting well,” said Gremlin’s assistant coach Josie Connors who was at the helm on Tuesday due to head coach Mel Baker being out sick. “It is something that we work on. We are not up at the plate hoping to walk.”

In the first game against the Vikings, the Gremlins pounded 15 hits for 22 runs. They opened the first with four runs plated and continued to grow their lead inning by inning. They led 7-0 after three.

Baraga posted their first runs in the bottom of the fourth. Back-to-back walks to Maria Coronado and Corinna Jahfetson led to them both scoring in that frame to make it a 7-2 Houghton tilt.

Grace Brunet pitched the first three innings for the Gremlins allowing no runs, two hits and striking out five. She was relieved by Regan Moyle.

The Gremlins finished off the Vikings with an eight-run seventh inning which included a hit parade from Mackenzie Ekdahl, Brunet and Fayah Zapolnik who launched a triple to left center.

In the night cap, it was the Vikings who got on the scoreboard first. With one out, Coronado slapped a base hit up the middle. After stealing second, up stepped Jahfetson. She proceeded to launch a Stella Soumis fastball deep to center field for an out-of-park homerun.

“That was a blast,” said Baraga’s head coach, Joe Coronado.

He added that despite the losses, his girls played some of their best softball of the season.

“Our fielding was amazing,” he said. “We caught fly balls and made put outs. This was quite an improvement from the error-filled play we have had in the past. I put Emmy Bobula in at short stop for the first time tonight, and she did amazing. As well our bats did well tonight. Little by little we are improving.”

The Gremlins put Soumis in the pitcher’s circle for the second game, and that first inning was the only inning where the Vikings scored. In fact, Soumis would go on to strike out the Baraga lineup twice in two innings and record nine total Ks in the shortened five inning game.

The Gremlins will face the Hancock Bulldogs at 4 p.m. Thursday at Driving Park.

Game one

HHS 412 033 8 – 21

BHS 000 212 3 – 8

Game two

BHS 200 00 – 2

HHS 722 01 – 12


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