Esky softball splits in opener weekend | News, Sports, Jobs

THREE RIVERS — The Escanaba Eskymos softball team opened its season this weekend, splitting a pair of games Saturday afternoon at the Three Rivers Invite.

Things ended on a positive note for the Eskymos with a 16-0 mercy win over the Three Rivers Wildcats after five innings.

Emily Moore pitched a no-hitter through the five innings with seven strikeouts on a total of 47 pitches.

“Emily Moore was sensational, really, on the mound,” said Escanaba coach Andy Fields. “She threw 47 pitches in five innings, 35 for strikes. She had great command, and the defense behind her did a great job.

“Overall, as far as the pitching was concerned with Emily, she did well. With it being the second game, and her sitting the first game not pitching at all, for her to come in and do as well as she did in the bitter cold, a very good job on her part.”

The bats were also going for the Mos in the win, with the team tallying 18 hits.

Among the hits were two round-trippers from Izzy Braun — who steps up to varsity full-time this year — as she hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and a grand slam in the fifth for the first two home runs in

her high school softball career.

“This was her first true couple of varsity games,” said Fields of Braun’s performance. “Her first at-bat she put over the second field fence … and the second one was a grand slam. Izzy Braun is just a great teammate. She’s been working hard in the offseason. That kid deserves everything she gets. She’s awesome.”

In the opening game, the Eskymos took a 6-3 loss against Jackson Northwest with Grayson LaMarche absorbing the loss.

“The difference in that game, there were really two things that stood out to me,” said Fields. “We struck out 18 times. We put eight (Mounties) runners on base. We gave up five walks, and we had hit three hit batters. Against a team like that, you can’t do that.”

McKayla Mott was the starting pitcher for Escanaba and went four innings, allowing three hits for two runs — one earned — with eight strikeouts.

LaMarche took over in the fifth to close the game and gave up four runs — all earned — on five hits.

She struck out six of the Mounties batters.

Fields gave praise to all the pitchers—from both games—for battling through tough, cold conditions to perform as well as they did.

Lizzy Sliva went 2-3 at the plate with a pair of home runs, both solo shots in the second and fourth innings.

Fields highlighted Sliva as a major contributor for the Eskymos Saturday.

“Really our MVP yesterday was Lizzy Sliva,” he said. “Last year, she was a little snake bit almost all year. She got in a lot of situations where she hit the ball hard but she always hit it right at somebody.

“Yesterday she had two home runs against the Jackson Northwest pitcher in her first two at-bats, which the Jackson Northwest pitcher is signed to Grand Valley State and I believe she went 3-4 in the Three Rivers game. Overall, she was our offensive leader yesterday.”

The Eskymos take a week away from the diamond before they play Negaunee at home on April 26.

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