ESCANABA — The Escanaba Eskymos picked up a 6-0 softball victory over the Gladstone Braves on Tuesday night in Escanaba.
Along with the rivalry game, it was also a big night for the Eskymos as they celebrated their elders and parents with a elders and parents night on the pitch.
While the Eskymos took advantage of some errors from the Gladstone team, the game was closer than the scoreline indicated with an intriguing pitching battle between the Braves Montgomery Pepin – who played the entire game – and the Eskymos starting pitcher Grayson LaMarche and closer McKayla Mott.
“We took advantage of mistakes, but I don’t think we hit the ball very well” said Escanaba coach Andy Fields. “But, at the same time, Montgomery Pepin threw a very good game today. She mixed really well, and she works hard, and she’s a good pitcher.
Montgomery Pepin finished the game with six strikeouts and four walks, allowing seven hits for six total runs, four of which were earned.
For Esky, LaMarche and Mott combined for a hit. LaMarche stoked eight and walked one while giving up Gladstone’s only hit — a two-base shot from Tia Schone — while Mott struck out four.
The Eskymos also allowed Samara Sanville to board on an error.
“Our strength is, obviously, our pitching, and we played a clean game for the most part,” Fields said. “We had the only error on the pitcher’s mound, but other than that it was a good game for us.
Escanaba scored early, with Paxton Bullen scoring on a sacrifice ball from Carney Salo in the first.
Bullen led the team offensively with a 2-4 record with a pair of RBIs on a fly ball double to center field.
Defensively, the Braves had several positives throughout the game, including a play between Kenzingtin Pepin in left field and Addie Trombley at third that prevented McKayla Mott from reaching third on a so-called triple.
“It was a great game that gave us some momentum,” said Braves coach Rick Pepin. “Tia Schone, her runaway throw, that’s an impressive game for a young woman.”
While the Braves have shown moments of solid play, they’re still working to put all the pieces together, Coach Pepin said.
“We’ve seen some very good glimpses and a very solid defense on our side, and that excites me,” he added. said coach Pépin. “But, we haven’t put all the pieces together yet, and that’s strictly the mental side. We’re growing there, and it’s starting to happen. And, we’re almost there. We’re not too far away.
“The other side of that is the first run where we made some mental mistakes, and Escanaba took advantage of that, and I felt we were really lucky to only give up one point. But that’s because we’re improving. I just feel like we fought and they took advantage.
The Eskymos continue their 11 games in six days with two double games over the next two days.
Today Escanaba visits Negaunee to face the Miners as they travel to Norway to face the Knights on Thursday.
For the Braves, they travel south to take on the Menominee Maroons and then host Charlevoix and Traverse City St. Francis this weekend in Gladstone.