MORENCI BASEBALL: A heart-breaker.
There’s no other way to describe it.
Morenci’s young baseball team was poised to win against Madison once again, leading 4-1 in the top of the seventh inning and one out away from a TCC victory.
Madison came through with four unearned runs to take a 5-4 win.
“We played really hard,” coach Roger Pontious said. “It was a tough loss for a young team.”
He’s still pleased with the effort the squad shows every week.
“We have only two kids with more than one season under their belts,” he said. “I just hope they keep playing all the way through high school and stick with us through the growing pains.”
Nick Wilson’s two-run homer in the fifth inning put Morenci on top 4-1. The Bulldogs combined for five hits and left seven runners on base. Cody Long took the loss.
WHITEFORD—Morenci managed only two hits in an 11-1 loss Friday at Whiteford. Eight Bulldog errors helped the Bobcats around the bases.
Wilson took the loss for Morenci, giving up 11 hits and five earned runs.
LCS—Morenci had a shaky start Saturday at Lenawee Christian School and couldn’t recover. The Cougars won the non-league game 14-9.
Isaac Jeffers went three for four, with two doubles, and Justin Benjamin hit a double and a triple.
Coach Pontious moved some players around to different positions and the Bulldogs started to come back.
Morenci forfeited the second game. Due to injuries, there wasn’t enough pitching depth.
WHITMORE LAKE—The Bulldogs also fell behind early at home Monday against Whitmore Lake. After a walk, an error and another walk, a grand slam gave the Trojans an early lead. The visitors finished with a 12-2 TCC victory.
Morenci finished with four hits, two by Michael Snyder. Snyder also took the loss on the mound.
“The score doesn’t show how hard we played,” Pontious said. “The boys hung together as a team and never quit playing.”
Britton-Deerfield visits Today (Wednesday) and Morenci travels Friday to Summerfield. The Bulldogs compete in the Addison tournament Saturday.
MORENCI SOFTBALL: Morenci’s softball squad added a few losses to its season tally in the past week, but that’s the way it goes in the tough Tri-County Conference and the Ida Invitational.
There was still plenty to cheer about, including Jade Pfund’s strong showing on the mound against Ida and Chanler McCaskey’s work with the bat. The junior has been swinging for the fence lately and now has six home runs to her credit, including one grand slam.
“She’s really improved her hitting this year,” coach Kay Johnson said, and once McCaskey reaches first base, she has the speed to advance around the bags.
All but one of her home runs were inside-the-park hits, Johnson said, but one smash at Ida hit the fence only about six inches below the top.
MADISON—The Bulldogs posted a 5-2 league win May 6 at Madison with Pfund recording seven strikeouts.
In a non-league second game, Morenci put the game out of reach in the seventh with six runs, including McCaskey’s grand slam.
WHITEFORD—A pair of errors in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Bobcats to take a 4-3 win.
Morenci had tied the game 2-2 in the second inning on base hits by Matea Garcia and McCaskey, then tied it again at 3-3 in the top of the fifth when Chelsea Tompkins singled and scored on Nicolette Swimmer’s sacrifice.
Morenci collected five hits to Whiteford’s three.
In a second non-conference contest, Whiteford took a 10-9 win despite 15 hits by the Bulldogs. McCaskey and Megan Cox each had three.
Swimmer started on the mound. Barbara Hollstein pitched the final eight and gave up four runs.
IDA—Morenci opened the tournament against the host team and fell 2-0. Tess Ramsey was the only Bulldog to get a hit.
After Ida scored its second run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Streaks loaded the bases with no outs. Pfund then struck out the side, turning in what Coach Johnson saw as one of her top performances on the mound.
Pfund struck out 13 batters from the Div. III team ranked honorable mention to the top 10.
Morenci downed Erie Mason 4-3 in the second game as each team finished with five hits.
After McCaskey led off the third inning with a triple, Morenci scored twice on errors. McCaskey broke a 3-3 tie with a lead-off homer in the seventh.
Pfund took a break in the third game and the Bulldogs fell to Marine City 18-5. Garcia made her first appearance on the mound and gave up two runs.
Morenci ended the day against Erie Mason again and this time won 10-2. McCaskey set the tone by pounding the ball over the fence in her lead-off spot.
She hit her third home run of the day in the six-run sixth inning.
Pfund fanned 10 and gave up four hits.
Ramsey finished the day with six hits.
WHITMORE LAKE—The visiting Trojans fell 14-2 Monday in the first of two five-inning games. The second non-league contest ended in the Bulldogs’ favor 15-5.
Whitmore Lake scored two runs in the first inning, but Morenci answered with six. Garcia drove in two runs with a double and Tompkins brought one home on a triple.
Pfund drove home a run in the third and Ramsey drove in a pair. In the third, Ramsey’s triple drove three runners home.
Pfund struck out four, walked none and gave up four hits.
In the second game, Morenci opened with eight first-inning runs. McCaskey tripled and homered. Jacklyn Paris had a two-run double and Tompkins a two-run single. Ashley Smith belted a two-run double in the second inning.
Hollstein pitched three innings and allowed two hits. Garcia pitched two three-up, three-down innings.
• After a visit by Britton-Deerfield today, the Bulldogs (20-8, 7-2) will look for revenge at Summerfield on Friday and travel Tuesday to Clinton for two games. Clinton won the Ida tournament with a 10-0 victory against the host team.
Morenci finishes the league season at home May 20 against Whiteford.
MORENCI TRACK: Two Bulldog track team members won titles Saturday at Litchfield’s Purdy Invitational meet.
Chas Frey won the 200 meter dash with a time of :23.21 and came in third in the 100 meter dash with an :11.57. The boys finished seventh out of 15 teams.
Morenci’s girls placed 10th, bolstered by Phoenix Duncan’s win in the high jump with a 5-0 leap and her third place finish in the long jump at 15-8.
Zach Phillips placed fourth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:38.9 and took fifth place in the 800-meter run with a 2:06.8. He also placed eighth in the high jump at 5-6.
Lucas Johnson placed sixth in the discus with a 129-7 and eighth in the shot put with a 42-3.
Levi Hoffman took a seventh place finish in the long jump with a leap of 17-9.
For the girls, Nichole Elarton earned a second place finish in the discus with a season best toss of 102-8.
The 800-meter relay team (Kathleen Barron, Sarah Ragan, Tequoia Jarrell and Phoenix Duncan) placed fifth with a time of 1:59.81.
The 1600 meter team (Duncan, Ragan, Jarrell and Barron) placed seventh at 4:35.
Against Lenawee Christian School, Lucas Johnson, Frey and Zach Phillips each won a pair of events as the boys coasted to an 89-42 win.
Duncan won a pair of events in the girl’s 82-20 victory.
It’s time for track athletes to come through with peak times and distances. Morenci travels Saturday to the Div. IV regional meet at Hillsdale College when the Bulldogs go in search of a trip to the state finals.