By Justin Marietti
For The Daily News
ESCANABA - The Escanaba Minor (age 9-10) girls flexed their offensive muscles Monday night, putting together a dominating performance and dropping Kingsford 19-4 in four innings.
Justin Marietti/Escanaba Daily Press Photo
Kingsford’s Katie Cook pitches during the first inning of their Minor Little League game against Escanaba, Monday, at Lemerand Field in Escanaba. Escanaba won 19-4.
Kingsford made some headway in the bottom of the second after Katelyn Myllala hit an RBI single and Brooke Kriegl followed by knocking in two more runs to bring the deficit to 8-3.
However, Escanaba absolutely broke it open in the third, putting up 11 runs on five hits, even after leaving three runners stranded.
Maysie Lancour got it going with a lead-off double, then Carsyn Segorski smacked a double of her own. That was when Nicole Kamin ripped a deep ball that turned into an inside-the-park home run and made the score 11-3.
Lancour, Segorski, and McKenna Bullen all hit RBI singles, Dakota Cloutner hit two RBI singles, and Ally Jackson added a double during the offensive onslaught that gave Escanaba the 19-3 lead.
"I'm really proud of them," said Escanaba coach Mark Cloutier. "They've been working really hard, our bats are really starting to come around, and our pitching is really strong. They executed well."
He said that the team does a lot of practice with bunting and moving, and their focus is built around the team's strengths, of which there are many.
"Simplicity is the key," he added.
After the impressive stand on offense, Segorski came in to strike out the side in the bottom of the third.
Kingsford scored another run in the fourth when Lexi Roberge took advantage of a passed ball, but it was all they could muster up and a strikeout ended the game.
"This is our first game we've ever played at 9-10's," said Kingsford coach Jerry Roberge. "These girls have never played together before. I think they did good, but we're going to have to start our own 9-10 league to catch up with the Escanaba's and Gladstone's.
"Escanaba's a good team, that's probably the hardest team they'll see in the state. They had fun, though, and that's awesome."
Kamin got things going early for Escanaba; she earned a lead-off hit, and rounded the bases on steals. An overthrow to third allowed her to come in for the game's first run, and Escanaba would exploit Kingsford's defensive weaknesses and inexperience by building a 5-0 advantage in the first inning. Erica Moore also hit an RBI double in the first.
With the victory, Escanaba moves on to play Gladstone tonight at Lemerand Field at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will move on to the district final. A loser's bracket game will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m.
In the senior (age 15-16) softball district Monday, Kingsford outlasted Norway 15-14 to advance to tonight's championship against Escanaba. The game is set for 4 p.m. (Central) with an if-needed game to follow.