Sports Round-up 5.14

Written by David Green.

Fayette Softball: The first time ever?

Fayette’s come-from-behind victory over Holgate Monday was the first tournament win anyone is recalling for the Eagles’ softball program.

If there are others from past years, a lot of innings have gone by since then.

The sectional win almost didn’t happen. It took some last-inning heroics to get the job done as Holgate fell 5-4 at Liberty Center.

The Tigers held a 4-3 advantage going into the last half of the seventh. Shenae Nuoffer wasn’t about to let her victory slip away and she led off with a base hit.

Nuoffer advanced when Katie Borer was safe on a dropped fly, and both runners moved up on a double steal.

Brittany Seiler drove Nuoffer home with a base hit to tie the game at 4-4. With one out and Borer on third, Mara Raker hit the winning single to end the game.

The grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Holgate took a 3-1 lead in the third and added one more in the fifth.

Rachel Seiler singled in the fourth inning and came home on Leah Brinegar’s RBI.

In the sixth, Raker led off with a base on balls and scored from first on long ball by Danni Wyse to close the gap to 4-3.

Rachel Seiler threw the first four innings, striking out seven, walking four and giving up four hits. Coach Sheila Killam brought Nuoffer in to see if she could finish it off despite nursery a sore elbow. In the final three innings, Nuoffer gave up just two hits and fanned five batters.

After facing Hilltop at home last night in  a BBC match-up, the Eagles head back to Liberty Center Thursday for a 5 p.m. contest against Hilltop for the sectional championship.

The Cadets took a narrow 2-0 win against Fayette earlier in the season.

Fayette Track: Fayette’s track teams didn’t come up with enough points to challenge Edon or Hilltop last week at West Unity, but  a pair of Eagles gave season-best performances.

Nathan Stoltzfus turned in a 10:40 in the 3200-meter relay to place third, four seconds behind Hilltop’s Livensparger and two seconds back from Edon’s Brown.

Nicole Shaffer gave the long jump a try and reached 14-6 for first place, edging out teammate Elisha Hartman at 14-2.

Austin Hylander was the only other Eagle to take a first, winning the 110-meter hurdles at :17.8.

At the tough Lamberson Invitational Saturday in Montpelier, the Eagles’ boys team finished with 20 points, far behind leaders Archbold (95), Edgerton (78) and Hicksville (74).

Shelby Franks earned the highest finish with his third-place spot in the long jump at 18-6. He was edged out in the 300-meter hurdles by teammate Hylander by just two-hundredths of a second. Hylander qualified for the finals and placed eighth at :46.3, not quite as good as his :44.83 in the preliminary heat.

Hylander also placed seventh in the 110-meter hurdles. His best time of :16.9 came in the semifinals.

Eliott Richardson tossed the shot 41-7.5 for an eighth-place finish and took fourth in the discus at 126-8.

Stoltzfus rounded out the boys scoring with sixth-place finishes in the 1600-meter run (4:45) and the 3200-meter run (10:52).

For the girls, Hartman placed seventh in the 400-meter dash at 1:06 and Shaffer took seventh in the long jump at 13-7.

Both girls qualified for the 100-meter semifinals, but failed to make the final run.

Archbold won the team standings with 110 points, ahead of Patrick Henry with 90 and Toledo Christian with 78.

Morenci Softball: After placing second Saturday in the Allendale Tournament, Morenci’s softball girls took the long ride to Whitmore Lake Monday for a 10-2 TCC victory.

Jade Pfund pitched the Bulldogs to the win at Whitmore Lake, giving up no walks and three hits, while striking out 10.

Nicolette Swimmer blasted the first of Morenci’s three triples to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Brooke Barrett opened the game with base hit. Swimmer scored on a wild pitch.

Barrett had an RBI-single in the second inning and Salena Martinez pounded a triple in the third. Rachael Rutkowski had an RBI-single that inning.

Tess Ramsey and Martinez singled in the fifth, and Meghan Smith drove in a run in the seventh with a triple.

TOURNEY—Morenci broke open a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning Saturday against Hastings on a base hit by Swimming, a double by Pfund, a base hit by Ramsey and a triple by Martinez.

Hastings closed the gap to 6-3 leading into the final inning, but base hits by Rutkowski and Mariah Bovee, along with a double by Martinez, assured the win.

Swimmer struck out three and walked three and allowed four hits.

Pfund went to the mound against Grand Rapids Covenant Christian and came through with a 4-2 victory. She fanned six, walked none and allowed six hits.

Morenci scored three runs in the opening inning on doubles by Barrett, Swimmer, Pfund and Ramsey. After adding one run in the third, the Bulldogs never came through with another hit.

Megan Cox made a big defensive play in the sixth inning that led to a double play and ended Covenant’s come-back bid.

In the finals against Caledonia, Morenci jumped on the backup pitcher for three runs. Barrett and Swimmer doubled, followed by base hits from Pfund, Rutkowski and Martinez.

Caledonia (18-3) then brought their starter to the mound and the Bulldogs never had another hit until the seventh inning.

Morenci was on top 3-2 going into the seventh, but Caledonia scored three and the 5-3 lead held. Morenci stranded a pair of runners in the bottom of the seventh.

Morenci Baseball: Morenci’s baseball squad didn’t come up with any wins last week, but they played their best game against the best team.

League-leading Whiteford held a 4-0 advantage through six innings here Friday and finished it off with a 6-0 win.

“I thought we played a very good game,” coach Roger Pontious said. “Anthony Barron told me afterward that it was our best game as a team all season and I had to agree with him.”

Barron had a good game on the mound and the Bulldogs’ young defense kept errors to only three. Morenci just couldn’t get much going at the plate.

Only Barron produced hits—a lead-off single in the first and another base hit in the third. On the mound, he struck out 10.

WHITMORE LAKE—At the Trojans’ diamond Monday night, the first batter was safe on a fielding error, and that, Coach Pontious, set the tone for the game.

Whitmore Lake took advantage of seven Bulldog errors to win 11-1 in five innings. Four runs scored in the first inning and five more came home in the second.

Garrett Keller finished with two of Morenci’s three hits.

“We aren’t showing much patience at the plate,” Pontious said.

Younger batters seem hesitant to take a walk.

Steven Pontious pitched for the Bulldogs, striking out three, walking one and giving up nine hits.

Morenci Track: Morenci track runners turned in some season and career bests last weekend at Litchfield’s Purdy Invitational, just in time for regional competition Saturday at Hillsdale.

Zach Phillips is closing in on Morenci oldest track record—Rich Towne’s 4:33 1600-meter run from 1965. Phillips ran a 4:35.55 to place third at Litchfield.

“He should have broken it that day,” coach Brad Brown said. “After keeping pace with Waldron’s Tim Jagielski for two laps, he backed off a little, but he still was strong at the end.”

Phillips was also part of the 1600-meter relay team that came through with its top time of the season at 3:35.9 to place fourth. Teammates were Justin Swett, Nathan Grieder and Chas Frey.

Frey also came through with his best 200-meter dash time (:23.15) for a first-place finish, and Swett gave his best 100-meter dash effort (:11.98) for third place.

Phillips ran his best 800-meter run at 2:06 for sixth place and Alex Burton’s :43.96 300-meter hurdle run was his best and good for seventh.

Morenci’s 400-meter relay (Correa, Roller, Frey, Swett) trimmed its time to :46.24 and placed second. The 800-meter relay (Swett, Burton, Grieder, Frey) finished at 1:35.82 for third place.

Others placing high were Lucas Johnson in the discus (3rd, 133-02) and the shot put (4th, 43-10).

For the girls, Leslie Montijo improved her 3200-meter run to 13:33.52 for sixth place.

Other Bulldogs scoring points were Phoenix Duncan in the high jump (3rd, 4-10) and long jump (4th, 14-0), Chelsea Howard in the 1600-meter run (6th, 6:08) and Kathleen Barron in the 400-meter dash (1:07.7).

Hayli Cox advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter dash.

Most of the same team competing at Litchfield will be back with Morenci at regional competition Saturday at Hillsdale.

Morenci Golf: Morenci’s golf team turned in its top performance of the season May 6 at the TCC jamboree at Centerview Golf Course and picked up its first three wins.

A 197 placed the Bulldogs in fourth and gave them victories over Britton/Deerfield (201), Whitmore Lake (206) and Sand Creek (209).

Summerfield came out on top with 167, followed by Clinton at 176 and Madison at 179.

Gavin Vanderpool paced the Bulldogs with a 44, followed by Zach Brigman at 47, Colin Walker at 51 and Adam Barnett at 55.

Walker parred hole five and Brigman scored a par on the long hole two.

Summerfield’s Bob Burke finished as medalist with a 40.

The Bulldogs took a downward turn Monday at the TCC league meet at the Lenawee Country Club, coming through with their weakest showing of the season.

Eighteen holes were played as two rounds of nine to make up for the low number of jamborees this season.

On the front nine, Morenci scored 235 with Vanderpool at 53, Barnett at 58, Drew Tompkins at 60 and Walker at 64.

The back nine scored improved to 227. Vanderpool carded a 53, Walker a 56, Barnett a 58 and Tompkins a 60.

Madison edged Summerfield 167-172 on the front, but Summerfield was back to it dominating role on the back, winning 176-180 over Madison.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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