Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Midgettes win first tournament game, play at Chequamegon tonight

HURLEY - In a pitching duel, Hurley's Gabby Pecotte prevailed over Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 3-2 in an opening round WIAA regional match-up on a soggy Monday afternoon.

"Their pitcher (Kelly Christensen) threw pretty hard and it was a good game all-around," Hurley coach Jim Kivisto said. "Gabby was impressive, too and kept them off-balance with two different change-ups.

And she was getting them over for strikes. She'll start for us on Wednesday (regional semifinal). And we played defense very well, too."

C-W coach Matt Christensen had much the same take on the game as Kivisto.

"It was a really nice game," Christensen said. "The seeding was perfect with Hurley being a No. 4 seed and we were a No. 5 team. Our pitching and defense were good, but we came up short by one run. Both pitchers had their own style and it was hard to make contact against both of them. Hats off to their pitcher for her change-up. Good luck to them and I hope they go a long way."

Kivisto knows his team faces a stern challenge in the regional semifinal today when the Midgettes go up against a tough Chequamegon that is the No. 1 seed and has won the last three regionals. They also got the only bye on Tuesday.

But Kivisto thinks his team has some things going in its favor, too.

"We won today, but we're not supposed win on Wednesday," Kivisto said of the game in Park Falls. "They are the No. 1 seed and we're No. 4. There's no pressure on us and all the pressure is on them. We're good and we just have to go show it. Believe in ourselves.We've got to be loose and have fun. We've got nothing to lose. We only have to be one run better and we just have to win one."

But Kivisto is pretty positive the Chequamegon game will not be a low-scoring pitcher's duel.

"We have to hit the ball better because they will hit the ball hard," Kivisto said. "We'll need to score at least eight runs to win and we have to hit the ball hard. We do that in practice."

Pecotte blanked C-W to start the game and the Midgettes got the start they wanted when they scored two runs in the bottom half of the first inning. Gabby Pecotte fouled off a week's worth of foul balls and then worked a walk and stole second. Paige Aho launched a long double into the gap that plated Pecotte. Kaylyn King roped a line drive over second base and then Felicia Herlevi slapped an RBI ground ball the shortstop couldn't get to and Aho came across the plate.

Pecotte retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced. But in the fourth inning, C-Ws Taylor Murray and Alisha Hamman punched out base hits and Christensen's RBI sacrifice fly made it 2-1.

Hurley responded in the fifth inning. Tianne Kuula bunted and it rolled through the pitcher's legs and Kuula took first base. Gabby Pecotte's liner over shortstop sent Kuula to second base. Maria Swartz hit a ball back to the pitcher, who tried to force Kuula at third base. The throw was high and the ball bounced into left field. Kuula sprinted for home and Hurley had a 3-1 advantage.

In the sixth, C-Ws Hamman singled to right field and Christensen whistled a hard grounder between shortstop and third base. One of Pecotte's change-up's fooled everybody and the ball rolled to the backstop putting runners on second and third base with one out.

Hailey Hong-Johnson hit a hard one-hop ground ball that Kirkie Pecotte snagged at shortstop and threw the runner out at first base. Hamman scored, but Kirkie Pecotte's sparkling defensive play may have saved a big inning. On the next play, Brittany Czarnecki made an unassisted put-out and the Midgettes clung to a 3-2 lead.

In the seventh inning, Gabby Pecotte mowed down C-W 1-2-3 and Hurley had its first tournament victory of 2015.

Hamman and Christensen led C-Ws offensive attack by going 2 for 3.

Herlevi was also 2 for 3 with a double for Hurley.

Christensen took the loss and went six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits. She walked two and fanned seven.

Gabby Pecotte picked up the win and she went the distance (7 innings) and scattered five hits. She did not issue a walk and whiffed five batters.

The Midgettes (14-6) travel to Chequamegon today for the regional semifinal at 5 p.m.

C-M 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 - 2 5 2

Hurley 2 0 0 0 1 0 x - 3 5 1

Rendered 05/22/2024 21:53