2012-04-12 / Sports

Softball team kicks off 2012 season with wins in Marquette

The Lady Emeralds kicked off the 2012 season with two wins and a loss at the annual Marquette Spring Swings fast-pitch softball tournament last weekend.

“It was a great start to the season for us,” coach Dave McNeil said. “As always, there are going to be a few bugs to work out, but it looks like we are going to be a very solid softball team again this season.”

The Emeralds opened the series Friday with an 8-5 win over the Newberry Indians.

Manistique scored eight runs on eight hits. Brooke Bontekoe led the Emeralds, going 3-for-3 and scoring twice. Kalyssa Jenerou was 2-for-4 with one run. Cayla Strasser scored twice on one hit and one base on balls. Kayla Bosen and Haley MacGregor rounded off the scoring with one run each.

MacGregor got the win. In six innings of work she gave up three hits, walked four and struck out eight.

“We jumped out to an early lead and never gave it up,” McNeil said. “Had a few issues in the sixth. We had four errors, hit one batter, but had enough runs to withstand it.”

Changing players to get a feel for his squad, the Emeralds dropped game two to the Rudyard Bulldogs 15-1. Jenerou got the loss.

“Kalyssa did pretty well on the mound, but with the position changes behind her we had seven errors. Sammie (Williams) pitched the final inning. She was a little nervous but was able to get in and see what high school pitching was all about.”

Trailing 4-1, Manistique came from behind to take the finale 6-5 over the Houghton Gremlins.

Kelsy Gonyea put down a suicide squeeze and had a two-run double to put the Emeralds on top in the fifth inning.

MacGregor got the win, giving up five runs off five hits, three errors, and three walks, while striking out six. Bontekoe and Williams scored two runs each in the win. Bosen and Jenerou one run each.

“Haley had a good weekend,” McNeil said. “She had good stuff this early on, hitting her spots and getting the ball over the corners. Brooke hit well going 4-for-6 and scoring three times.”

The Emeralds added four players from their Little League program this season, welcoming freshmen Amber Smith, Kelsey Morgan, Shelby Saffer and sophomore Vanessa McNamara to the roster.

“It is a good thing we have going for us now,” McNeil said. “Players that are moving up have experience that comes from our Little League program. We started our high school program from scratch and managed to hold our own. Now we have players moving up from our feeder program who can play. We finished just above the .500 mark last season and are shooting to be above that mark this year.”

Captains for this year’s team are seniors Kalyssa Jenerou, Brooke Bontekoe, Jessi Zellner and Kayla Bosen.

The Emeralds’ game against Norway was postponed due to high winds and was rescheduled to be played Wednesday, after press time.

The Emeralds home opener will be next Monday against Escanaba.

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