Softball: Iron Mountain pitching falters in sweep by Miners

Mountaineers pitchers walk 31 Negaunee batters

Iron Mountain’s Saylor Swartout hits against Negaunee on Wednesday in Iron Mountain. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Negaunee took advantage of Iron Mountain’s troubled pitching in a doubleheader sweep on Wednesday.

The Miners won the first game 16-3 and the second game 19-6. Iron Mountain walked 31 batters in both games combined.

“It’s a frustrating day. Pitching wasn’t there,” Iron Mountain coach Dean Lefebvre said. “We had more hits than them but we walked a lot of batters. When you get behind like that, it’s hard to dig out of the hole.”

The Miners started the second game with a six-run first and added five more runs in the second.

Iron Mountain bats came alive for the first time all day with a four-run fourth. Emma Thomann’s two-run home run followed a line drive double by Jorden Stoner. Kaitlyn Henderson and Paige Fortner both hit RBI doubles in the inning.

“She hit her second home run of the year and that was a little bit of a spark,” Lefebvre said. “Everybody started swinging the bat and having fun. We’re just missing that key element where a pitcher can throw consistent strikes and a hundred pitches.”

The Mountaineers’ defense also struggled, allowing 10 unearned runs to score.

Iron Mountain’s inexperienced pitching was a challenge for Negaunee hitters, coach Randy Carlson said.

“It’s kind of difficult sometimes, I see they have some young pitching, so when you’re walking kids that often it’s hard for kids to stay disciplined and sometimes you swing at some bad pitches,” Carlson said. “We came in and did what we had to do. We scored some runs and played pretty good defense overall.”

The Mountaineers out-hit Negaunee in both games, but the pitching and defensive lapses undermined the offense.

“Pitchers just weren’t in it today, but we’re asking a lot of them. They struggled tonight,” Lefebvre said. “Every pitcher struggled tonight. Not one was on their game. We walked a lot of batters tonight.”

Fortner, Paige LaPoint and Kaitlyn Henderson split pitching duties for Iron Mountain in both games.

Haily Fezatt, Skyler Hall and Malorie Munson pitched in both games for Negaunee.

Negaunee’s Samantha Carlson went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and three runs scored in the second game. Abby Nelson was 1 for 3 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Two of Nelson’s RBIs came on bases-loaded walks. The other RBI came on a single.

Negaunee plays today at Marquette.

Iron Mountain plays at Westwood on Friday.