Bulldogs softball stays perfect with sweep of host Gremlins

Hancock catcher Brooke Koskela congratulates pitcher Sadie Biekkola after the third out in the first game of a doubleheader against Houghton on Thursday at Houghton’s softball field. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — As the first week of area high school softball winds down, the Hancock Bulldogs appear to be the team to beat. The Bulldogs swept both their series this week. On Tuesday, they downed the Jeffers Jets at home, and on Thursday, they took two from their cross-canal rivals, the Houghton Gremlins, this time on the road.

They won the first game, 4-0, and the second, 12-1.

In the opener, Hancock’s ace pitcher Sadie Biekkola took to the circle and threw a masterpiece – a shutout to be exact. She went the distance, allowing just two hits, walking three and striking out 12.

“Our pitching was good, our bats came alive, and we were very sound defensively,” said Bulldogs coach Craig Biekkola.

Hancock (4-0) jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the second with shortstop Kaelyn Rouleau and outfielder Ella Storm both scoring. In the third, they added another tally courtesy of designated hitter Megan Pelto, who laid down a sacrifice bunt, which allowed Sadie Biekkola to score. It was 3-0 after three, and that is how it stayed until the top of the seventh when the Bulldogs added one more.

Houghton’s Jada Guilbault waits on a pitch in a game against Hancock Thursday in Houghton. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

This was Houghton’s (0-2) first game of the season, and according to coach Mel Baker, the team had only practiced twice outside on their home field.

Their first hit of the season came in the fourth off the bat of left fielder Kenzie Collard. Two innings later, Romi Mattson had the second and only other.

While the bats were struggling, Baker felt that pitching was a positive.

“Our bats were too silent in that first game,” Baker said. “I was pleased with the way Stella (Soumis) pitched.”

Soumis also went the distance allowing four runs, walking four and striking out nine.

In the nightcap, the Gremlins scored their first run of the season. However one run wasn’t a match for the 12 posted by Hancock.

Sadie Biekkola was in the circle again for the Bulldogs for the start, and Sydnie Scholie relieved her after four frames.

Mattson was the Gremlins starter.

Again, the Bulldogs jumped on the board early, posting a three-run first inning and a one-run second. A walked-in run for the Gremlins in the second avoided another shutout, making it 4-1 Hancock after two.

However a three-run fourth and a five-run sixth by the Bulldogs put the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Gremlins.

In the fourth, Sofie Freeman opened with a triple and came home on a Sadie Biekkola double. Biekkola then scored on a throwing error by the Gremlins’ third baseman Fayah Zapolnik.

“Errors hurt us today,” Baker said.

The Gremlins committed five in the second game, after commiting three in the first, while the Bulldogs had just three total on the day.

“I liked how we took advantage of those errors on the base paths,” Craig Biekkola noted. “The girls ran the bases well today.”

In the sixth, doubles by Bulldog’s catcher Brooke Koskela and Scholie, who started the game at third, as well as singles by Sadie Biekkola and Pelto added to a 10-run lead, and the eventual early win with the mercy rule.

“I am happy with everything we did today,” said Craig Biekkola. “It was a complete effort, and both of these were team wins for us.”


The Bulldogs travel to Coleman, Wisconsin, to play Saturday. Meanwhile the Gremlins will be in Kingsford taking on the Flivvers.


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