The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Morenci softball loses in regional final 6.11

Written by David Green.


Have patience. We’re getting the hits; the runs have to follow.

That’s the reasoning that went through the mind of Morenci softball coach Kay Johnson Saturday. The Bulldogs were trailing Homer in a close game, 3-2, but just couldn’t get their runners across home plate.

“I really thought we were going to break it open,” Johnson said later.

Instead, she spent the day Sunday watching mental replays of the regional finals, wondering how her team could come through with 10 hits and score only two runs.

Part of the answer is luck, that one uncontrollable factor when two good softball teams meet.

Morenci had a little bit of luck early on, smacking a pair of base hits outside the reach of Homer infielders, but the Trojans had a little more.

Hits that scooted just under the glove of a Bulldog fielder. Defenders standing in the perfect position to nab a Morenci line drive without taking a step.

Morenci had its share of hits and stranded seven runners on base. Homer came through with only five hits, but the three first-inning runs were all that were necessary to claim a 3-2 victory and a regional tournament crown.

Morenci got on the scoreboard first with singles up the middle by Rachael Rutkowski and Jade Pfund. The Trojans made it 3-1 in the bottom of the first with three hits and a Morenci error.

In the third inning, Brooke Barrett doubled and Rutkowski reached base on a blooper. But Pfund’s line drive went right into the shortstop’s glove and the toss to first ended the inning with a double play.

Nicolette Swimmer reached base on an error in the fourth, but was picked off. Salena Martinez and Meghan Smith each got hits but were left stranded.

In the fifth, Megan Cox put the first pitch into the outfield for a single. Chanler McCaskey went in as base runner and advanced on a bunt by Rutkowski. She scored when Pfund’s hit got passed the shortstop for a 3-2 score.

In the sixth, Mariah Bovee’s liner went directly into a glove and the same happened to Cox in the top of the seventh. That brought the top of Morenci’s order to the plate for a final chance at victory, but only Barrett came through with a hit.

When Johnson saw Homer warming up, she knew the Bulldogs could face a good challenge.

“They have some athletes and they can swing the bats,” she said.

The Trojans got five hits off Pfund on the mound. She struck out five and walked two.


Morenci had no trouble getting passed Ann Arbor Greenhills in the semifinal game. The Gryphons came in with a losing record and were pounded 12-2 in a five-inning contest.

The Bulldogs scored five in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run homer from Martinez. Barrett opened the inning with a double and Tess Ramsey knocked in two runs on a base hit.

Greenhills answered with a lead-off home run, but they didn’t get much more than that.

Morenci added two more in the bottom of the second on singles by Barrett and Rutkowski and a double from Swimmer.

The Gryphons added one more in the third on a base hit, two Bulldog errors and a bases-loaded single.

Morenci added one in the third after Martinez drew a walk and her runner, Tia Tompkins, scored on a passed ball.

The Bulldogs put the game out of reach in the fourth on a single by Pfund, ground ball fielder’s choice from Swimmer and an error on a ground ball by Ramsey. Martinez drove the ball to the fence to drive in two runs.

Barrett’s base hit in the fifth inning drove Cox to end the contest on the mercy rule.

Pfund struck out nine, walked none and gave up four hits.

Getting to the regional finals was a bonus to Morenci’s season—third in the league with a 22-12 record—but when the chance comes, you want to make the best of it, Johnson said.

“When you get there, you want things to fall into place and it’s disappointing to miss that chance.”

Instead of Morenci, it’s Homer that traveled Tuesday to Adrian College for the quarterfinal contest.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015