Family affair: Three generations compete in Copper Country softball league

From left: Sylvia Aho, Brielle Anderson, Theresa Anderson, Larissa Anderson, Adena Anderson, Rosalie Kangas, Kim Aho, Jen Anderson and Lois Knuuttia. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CHASSELL — It isn’t every day a softball infield can call the rightfielder “grandma.”

Yet that is what happened in the fifth inning of Superior National Banks’s 6-0 win over Crush-Diamond House International-Loading Zone on Monday in Chassell.

Three generations took to the field ranging in ages 69 to 12 – all of them maternally related. As the “matriarch” Lois Knuuttila took her spot in right field, her daughters Kim Aho and Jen Anderson played first and left field respectively. Center field and the rest infield was filled in with Knuuttila’s six granddaughters.

“This was a special moment with all of us united on the field,” said Knuuttila now close to her seventh decade of playing softball.

The Knuuttila clan made it look easy as they put Crush in their place with a three-up-three-down inning. In fact, that was the way most of the game went for Crush in their season opener.

“Our pitching was okay, but we must hit the ball. That wins games. It simply comes down to that,” said Crush’s head coach Curtis Kinnunen.

In fact, Superior’s (1-1) starter Larissa Anderson and reliever Rosalie Kangas held Crush to just one hit and one baserunner. Anderson had six strikeouts and Kangas had four.

After posting one run in the second inning, SNB’s bats came alive in the fifth.

“We swung the bats, and that made the difference,” said SNB’s player-coach Kim Aho.

She got the inning started with a base hit up the middle. Her 12-year-old daughter Sylvia followed suit with a hit of her own. Then came RBIs by

Brielle Anderson and Larissa Anderson. When all was said and done, SNB had a 6-0 lead headed into the top of the sixth, and it stayed that way as SNB was able to keep Crush scoreless through seven.

CRUSH 000 000 0 – 0

SNB 010 050 x – 6

REL Inc. 16, Northern Michigan Land Brokers, 6

CHASSELL — In the nightcap, REL, Inc. defeated Northern Michigan Land Brokers by a score of 16-6.

Delaney Heinonen was the winning pitcher with help from Morgan Erkkila. Heinonen struck out five, and Erkkila struck out two.

Kaydence Kilpela took the loss for NMLB. She struck out three.

REL took an early lead scoring one run in the top of the first inning. Northern bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the first to take the lead, but it was short lived as REL came back in the third to regain the lead. They then blew the game wide open with a five-run fourth inning and NMLB did not catch up.


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