Sports Round-up 5.06

Written by David Green.

MORENCI BASEBALL: Southfield Christian saw some pitching here Saturday that no one else has seen.

Between sore arms and ineligibility, Bulldog coach Roger Pontious had to dig deep to fill the mound position.

“Our pitching is what’s hurting us,” Pontious said. “We’re still so young. We’re definitely relying on experienced kids.”

Morenci has two freshmen now in starting positions along with two seniors who are playing for the first time.

The visiting Eagles took a four-inning 15-0 win in the opener as Daniel Stutzman, Johnnie Gilbert and Joe Perez each took a turn on the mound.

The Bulldogs gave Southfield Christian a better game in the second half of the twin bill with veteran Cody Long pitching. Long had to leave after five innings due to arm pain and the Eagles finished with a 13-6 win.

With two outs in the first inning, Simon Jeffers came through with an RBI-single to bring his brother, Isaac, home from third.

Morenci tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning with three extra-base hits. Anthony Tompkins belted a double and came home on Nick Wilson’s long home run. Michael Snyder followed with a double and Isaac Jeffers brought him home with base hit.

The Eagles scored seven in the bottom of the sixth.

SAND CREEK—Morenci came through with only three hits in an 18-1 loss to Sand Creek at home Monday.

Wilson started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs, but a cut finger prevented him from putting much speed on the ball.

Finally, Coach Pontious took him out and gave Snyder and then Perez some pitching time. Sand Creek also took advantage of six infield errors by Morenci.

Wilson had two of Morenci’s hits off Aggie winner Tim McCarty.

Morenci scored its only run in the first inning when Jay Howard walked, advanced on a balk and a ground out, and came home on Wilson’s base hit.

SUMMERFIELD—Morenci played close with Summerfield last week, dropping a 6-4 contest.

“We committed seven errors and that’s what cost us the game,” Pontious said.

MORENCI SOFTBALL: Just one run made the difference for  Morenci’s softball girls here Monday.

The Bulldogs (15-4) scored a pair of runs on base hits and one more run on an error to down Sand Creek 3-2 here Monday.

“We had nine hits, but we spread them out,” coach Kay Johnson said.

The Bulldogs finished the contest with only three strikeouts.

The Aggies weren’t as fortunate at the plate. Jade Pfund fanned 11 of the visitors, walked one and gave up three hits. Morenci committed no errors.

Sand Creek put the first run on the board when a fly ball was misplayed and dropped between two Morenci outfielders.

The Bulldogs came back with one run in the bottom of the inning when Matea Garcia hit a two-out single and scored on a base hit by Tia Tompkins.

In the fourth, Jackie Paris drew a walk and scored when a fielder threw wild on Tompkins’ sacrifice bunt. Tompkins also came home when Chanler McCaskey singled.

In the sixth, Sand Creek closed the gap to 3-2 with a run on a passed ball. A runner advanced to third base, still without an out, but Pfund struck out the next three batters.

McCaskey, Garcia and Tompkins each finished with two hits. Nicolette Swimmer, Pfund and Megan Cox each got a hit.

ALLENDALE—Morenci started off against the best at the Allendale Invitational, falling to Covenant Christian 10-1.

Once Morenci fell behind by five runs in the fifth, Coach Johnson gave Pfund a rest with two games yet to play. Swimmer and Barbara Hollstein took turns on the mound.

Pfund gave up four hits and two earned runs. She also had an uncharacteristic four walks, but Johnson said her heel kept slipping on a second pitching rubber positioned closer, just inside the mound.

Cox drove Chelsea Tompkins home in the sixth for Morenci’s only run.

Pfund struck out 10 Allendale runners in the next game, but Morenci lost 4-3.

Tess Ramsey drove Swimmer home with a sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning. A base hit by Cox in the fifth scored Chelsea Tompkins.

McCaskey, who was on base with a double, scored on a suicide squeeze with Pfund at bat to give Morenci a 3-2 lead.

Chelsea Tompkins led off with a triple in the seventh, but a good fielding play ended the game.

The Bulldogs downed Hopkins 12-2 in the final contest. McCaskey belted two doubles and a single that went all the way to the fence. Cox and Ramsey each had a pair of hits.

Pfund fanned 11 and gave up two hits.

SUMMERFIELD—Three of Summerfield’s four runs came courtesy of Morenci errors when the two top-10 teams tangled here last week.

Pfund gave up only two hits and a walk, but Morenci never threatened. Mariah Bovee singled in the fifth and Cox in the sixth. Paris drew a walk—the only other Bulldog base runner.

Summerfield scored on a disputed call in the second inning when a base runner collided with Morenci catcher Chelsea Tompkins on a perfect throw from Ramsey in centerfield. Ramsey repeated the play later in the inning for an out.

Ramsey also doubled a runner off second base in the sixth and made a good running catch in the seventh.

Pfund was injured by a line drive in the sixth inning with a 2-0 score, but she kept pitching. Summerfield scored runs in the seventh on two Morenci errors followed by two base hits.

MORENCI TRACK: Morenci track coach Brad Brown just wishes it would have been a fair fight, so to speak.

He knew the Bulldog boys had no chance against Whitmore Lake last week. No one is coming within 40 points of the Trojans, he said. But Madison is a different matter.

Morenci could have been the victors against that other set of Trojans if the entire team had been present. Instead, three of the top point-winners were absent and Madison claimed a 79-54 win. Whitmore Lake won 97-31.

“We couldn’t even field our relays,” Brown said.

Chas Frey made his presence known, claiming first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400 against Madison, but he was outpaced by Whitmore Lake speedster Steve Machin in the shorter sprints. Frey’s :23.6 on the 200 is his best of the season.

Zach Phillips won the high jump and 3200-meter run against Madison. Levi Hoffman took first in the shot put against both opponents with his season-best 37-10.

Morenci’s girls squad fell to Whitmore Lake 81-47 and to Madison 111-26.

Phoenix Duncan placed first in the long jump and high jump against Madison. Nichole Elarton came through with her best discus toss of the season (100-7) to top both opponents.

Hudson Relays

Morenci’s boys team placed second Saturday at the Hudson Booster Invitational, well behind Vandercook Lake and a point ahead of Hudson in third.

The Bulldogs were winners in the discus relay and second in the shot put. Frey won the 100-meter dash and placed second in the 400.

Morenci’s girls placed fifth overall, but the long jump team took first. Chelsea Howard placed fourth in the open 3200-meter run at 6:30.

• No Fayette sports news was received this week.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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