Prep softball: Northmen finish 1-2 at Portland tournament
Alanson pitcher Becky Madden delivers to the plate Friday during a non-league doubleheader with Gaylord St. Mary. (Steve Foley/News-Review / April 16, 2012)
The Northmen opened with a 2-0 loss to the host Cardinals; then defeated Grand Rapids West Catholic, 9-3; and finished with a 5-0 loss to Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills.
The Northmen, 2-3, play host to Rogers City in their home opener on Thursday, April 19, at Bayfront Park’s Ed White Field.
“Overall I thought it was a good tournament for us to play in because the competition was very good, every team there was very competitive,” Petoskey coach Dave Serafini said. “Every team had good pitching. It’s only going to help us get better when we start conference play in another week.”
Annie Hansen did all the pitching for the Northmen and Jenna Proctor was the hitting standout, finishing with four hits in the three games.
“Hansen pitched strong in all three games,” Serafini said. “She had great command and she hit her spots. Defensively, with the exception of two miscues in the Portland game, I thought we played pretty well as a team.
“Jenna Proctor had an outstanding tournament and made a great diving catch in the outfield to save a couple runs. She was pretty much our leader all weekend. Did a great job for us.”
Petoskey could manage just two hits — both by Proctor — in the opener against Portland. The Cardinals scored single runs in the first and sixth innings, both on the direct result of Petoskey miscues.
Hansen allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four in taking the loss. Both Portland runs were unearned.
“It was a very well-played game,” Serafini said. “Unfortunately, we made two mistakes, one in the first (inning), one in the sixth inning, which cost us runs. Annie pitched a great game and did not deserve to lose. We just made two critical mental mistakes that basically allowed Portland to score their two runs.
“And they had a very good pitcher who kept us off balance. She was a hard thrower and made it tuff on us.”
Proctor and Tori Thompson had two hits and two RBI apiece to lead an eight-hit attack as the Northmen bounced back to beat West Catholic.
“We got our bats going and hit the ball really well,” Serafini said. “It was good to see after being shut down in the first game.”
Hansen allowed seven hits, walked one, and struck out nine for the victory.
Katie Kidd, Kristen Espinoza, Hansen and Erin Rautio each singled. Rautio finished with two RBI, while Hansen and Espinoza had one each.
Hansen struck out seven and surrendered nine hits in the loss to Kenowa Hills.
Emily Kent had three hits to lead Petoskey at the plate, while Ellen Loper had two, and Hansen, Espinoza and Caitlin Strobel added one each.
“Kenowa Hills had a very good pitcher,” Serafini said. “She wasn’t a hard thrower, but she mixed her pitches well with great location. She kept us off balance for the majority of the game.
“We had quite a few chances in that game. We had eight base hits and left 10 base runners on. Every time we hit the ball hard it was right at them and not in a gap. It was one of those games where we swung the bat well, but we couldn’t find the gaps when we needed to.”