Vermilya twins great at-bat but Cards fall to East Jordan twice
Alyce Vermilya homered, but the Johannesburg-Lewiston softball team lost to host East Jordan 4-3 and 14-9 in non conference play Friday.
In the first game, Holly Kussrow singled to score Jordyn Stark and Maggie Wells in the sixth, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 4-1 deficit.
Arielle Vermilya finished 3-for-3 at the plate.
Jessie Marlatt struck out 11 and walked none in five innings for the Cardinals, who fell to 8-9 overall.
Alyce Vermilya smacked a two-run homer that also scored Grace Boden (3-for-4) in the third inning of Game 2.
Devyn McVannel drove in four runs, while Marlatt and Jamie Burke combined to strike out seven.
Boden homers, Kussrow gets walk-off RBI as Cards beat Pellston
Johannesburg-Lewiston beat visiting Pellston 6-5 in walk-off fashion Friday after Holly Kussrow (two RBIs) drew a bases-loaded walk in Ski Valley softball action.
Grace Boden smacked a two-run homer in the opening inning, and then she knotted the score 5-5 in the third with a single to left to bring home Jessie Marlatt.
Marlatt struck out eight in six innings pitching.
The Cardinals (6-7, 3-3 SVC) dropped the nightcap to No. 1 Inland Lakes, 17-2. In the third, Boden drove in a run and Jamie Burke scored on a passed ball.
"We had a lot of errors on defense, and we weren't hitting cutoffs and had balls go between our legs," coach Kim Marlatt said. "We didn't come ready to play.
"We need to regroup and get focused again this week at practice and be ready to play."
Cardinals down rival Snowbirds 5-0 in Ski Valley matchup
ONAWAY — Building off a big weekend effort in their Val Kapture tournament, Johannesburg-Lewiston (5-6, 2-2 SVC) topped rival St. Mary 5-0 in a neutral site Ski Valley softball game Monday at Onaway.
While Jessie Marlatt singled to center to score Sydney Townsend for the winning run in the opening inning, it was Alyce Vermilya who stepped up big at the plate. The sophomore finished 2-for-3 hitting, which included her doubling home Grace Boden in the third and her singling to right to score Marlatt and Boden in the fifth.
Boden sent a shot to right to score Marlatt in the third for J-L's other run.
"We played Saturday (in the Val Kapture), and the girls played well this weekend, and it carried over to today," J-L coach Kim Marlatt said. "We did a lot of great things. We were hitting the ball well, our pitching was good and we had less errors.
"We're finally coming around right now."
Marlatt, who was also 2-for-3 hitting, struck out three and allowed just five hits and one walk.
Gracie Blust and Anna Torsky had two hits apiece for St. Mary, while Abbi Maybank had the other.
Summer Sullivan struck out 10 in five innings for the Snowbirds.
"Joburg played good defense, and that happens when you make the outs that you should make," St. Mary coach Pat Schultz said. "Good things happen to teams that play good defense."
The Cardinals wrapped up the night with a huge performance against 10th-ranked Onaway.
While Onaway pitcher Calley Selke threw a no-hitter, J-L limited its opponent to just five hits in the 3-0 loss.
J-L, a young team on the rise, can build off losing to a ranked veteran team like Onaway.
"I think the girls did a nice job against a tough team," Coach Marlatt said. "If we can put the ball in play, it'd be a different game.
"We're finally getting in a groove and coming around. I'd like to continue that like we have been doing the last three games. I think we're going to be OK."
Maggie Wells struck out four and walked three in five innings.
Errors behind Wells on defense cost J-L a pair of runs.
"Maggie pitched well against them, but we didn't hit the ball, but our defense was stellar," Coach Marlatt said. "We had two errors, so it should have been a 1-0 game, but they did well."
Schultz, too, was happy with St. Mary's effort against Onaway, which beat the Snowbirds, 12-0.
St. Mary (2-8, 0-4 SVC) got three hits on Selke, including a double from Blust.
"Selke is a first-team all-state pitcher, and we hit her better today than we have ever hit her," Schultz said. "Offensively, I was happy because we put the bat on the ball against her. She only had four strikeouts over five innings, and that's good for us."
Cardinals finish runner-up at Val Kapture tournament
During Saturday's tournament, J-L overcame a 2-1 deficit in the final inning when Arielle Vermilya tripled to score her twin sister, Alyce, for the tying run, and then Holly Kussrow singled home Arielle two at-bats later to earn the walk-off win, 3-2.
Marlatt went 2-for-3 with a double, while the sophomore struck out 10 in six innings in the pitcher's circle.
J-L lost to Roscommon 12-8 in the tournament, despite Alyce Vermilya going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Boden collecting three hits.
J-L sweeps Alanson in non conference doubleheader
The Cardinals recorded 26 hits as a team to sweep visiting Alanson 11-0 and 15-0 in non conference play Wednesday.
Boden and Marlatt had five and four hits, respectively, while Marlatt and Wells combined to strikeout 18 pitching.
Johannesburg-Lewiston's defense isn't up to par yet because its had only two outdoor practices on its softball field.
That was evident in Wednesday's losses to Charlevoix and again when the Cardinals (1-4, 1-1 SVC) fell to host Bellaire 10-2 in the first of their two neutral site Ski Valley games at Craven Park.
They turned it around for a 10-0 win over Forest Area in the nightcap, however.
"We came out pretty rusty," coach Kim Marlatt said. "We played Charlevoix last night, and our defense had a lot of errors – even though we started strong in both of those games. That carried over to tonight when we played Bellaire first."
The Cardinals scored both their runs in the fifth. Maggie Wells singled home Grace Boden, and then Alyce Vermilya scored on a throwing error.
Jessie Marlatt threw six innings and allowed only six hits and no walks. The sophomore struck out four, but the Cardinals committed nine errors.
"We started out strong, and then after that, defensive-wise, we made too many errors," Coach Marlatt said. "It was a rough start, but I give the girls credited because they came around in the second game against Forest Area, and Maggie Wells pitched a great game, and we put the ball in play."
Against Forest Area, Wells struck out eight and walked two in five innings pitched.
Arielle Vermilya singled to center to score Tori Crandall and Sydney Townsend for the winning runs in the third.
J-L had only one error.
By Brandon Folsom - Gaylord Herald Times Sports Editor
While Johannesburg-Lewiston hasn't been able to play an official softball game yet, it did get in a scrimmage Saturday at Ovid-Elsie.
The Cardinals took the opening game 14-6, but they dropped the second of the doubleheader, 17-9.
"We put the ball in play really well and came out aggressively in the batter's box, just hitting the ball," J-L coach Kim Marlatt said. "There was a lot of talking going on, and we did a lot of things we have been doing in practice. They were focused, and they were hitting their cut-offs.
"Overall, with being outside for the first time, they played well, and we did a lot of good things."
In the first game, the Cardinals scored five runs in the first inning and three in the third. It was Grace Boden's fly ball to right field that brought in Sydney Townsend for the winning run.
J-L tacked on five runs in the fifth and three in the seventh.
Jessie Marlatt drove in four runs, Alyce Vermilya was 4-for-5 hitting with two doubles and Jamie Burke scored three times.
In the circle, Marlatt and Burke shared pitching duties, combining to go for seven innings and notching three strikeouts. The duo walked eight and allowed one home run.
"For not being outside, I thought in our first game we did a lot of things really well," Coach Marlatt said. "Jessie came out pitching strong, and the girls put the ball in play."
Another highlight included Marlatt and Kamryn Kennedy connecting on a tough double play from second and first bases.
Ovid-Elsie used a seven-run fourth inning to pull away from the Cardinals in the second game.
Boden went 3-for-3 hitting with two runs and one RBI, while Arielle Vermilya and Marlatt drove in two scores apiece.
Maggie Wells took the loss pitching, but the sophomore struck out two and walked only three.
"By the second game, they fell apart a little bit," Coach Marlatt said. "I don't know if it was fatigue from traveling or if it was just our first time being outside, but we didn't put the ball in play, and we kind of struggled.
"Our base hits got cut off in the second game, and they were the types of things you'd expect out of a team playing their first game."
The Cardinals hope to open the season officially when they visit Ellsworth for a doubleheader Wednesday, May 2.
Snow delaying the start to an already challenging softball season ahead of us
The saying goes: If you want to be the best, you got to beat the best.
The Cardinals took that quite literally when they put together their schedule this past offseason.
Not only do they face the D4 pre-season No. 1 (Inland Lakes) and 9 (Onaway) teams in Ski Valley play, but they'll also take on No. 5 Rogers City and a pair of teams that will likely be ranked by the end of the spring in Hillman and Boyne City.
The schedule wouldn't be too tough for a senior-laden team to navigate, but J-L is going to be mostly underclassmen.
"We have a tough schedule for as young as we are," coach Kim Marlatt said. "You always want to play good teams, but you also want to play against teams you can beat to keep their confidence.
"We're young again this year and have six sophomores, three freshmen and only one senior. Yes, we're pretty young, but the girls have worked hard in the offseason."
While some of the Cardinals participated on travel teams last summer, even more of them went to small clinics put on by Marlatt during the winter.
Marlatt said those clinics put an emphasis on defense, despite knowing the Cardinals graduated three of their biggest hitters from a year ago in Baily Bennett, Chelsea Ramage and Mady Hague.
"We got to put the ball in play and work together as a team, yes," Marlatt said. "But there's a lot of talent on the team. If you can't work together, it's not going to take you anywhere. Our focuses will be on hitting, working together and focusing on defense. I think they'll be successful if they do those things."
Maggie Wells and Jessie Marlatt will share pitching duties again this year, while Tori Crandell, Grace Boden, sisters Alyce and Arielle Vermilya and Holly Kussrow should add plenty of offense.
Sydney Townsend, Emma Johnson and Jamie Burke are three freshmen who will compete for playing time right away.
"I know we have a tough schedule, but I think we'll do OK," Coach Marlatt said. "I think we'll be competitive."
2017 Conference finish: 8-8 in the Ski Valley
2017 finish: Lost to Hillman 11-3 in the D4 district semifinal
Key returners: Jessie Marlatt, Grace Boden, Maggie Wells
Key losses: Chelsea Ramage, Mady Hague, Baily Bennett
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