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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Season Openers

Issue Date: March 29, 2017

Area Teams Start Softball/Baseball Seasons

Marinette Opens Season

with Win Over Wausaukee


Tuesday evening, the Marinette Marines played host to the Wausaukee Rangers to kick off the 2017 softball season. The non-conference matchup featured nice weather that turned into chilly temperatures, but nothing could cool off the Marines' offense.

After a quick 1-2-3 inning for Wausaukee at the plate, the Marinette ladies put their offense on display. In their first at bat, Marinette sent 16 batters to the plate, scored 13 runs on seven hits, including the first ten hitters to bat, and it was all highlighted by a Megan Suhs two-run home run. Lead-off hitter Hannah Bearson started the barrage with a triple down the right field line, Jordan Miller and Chloe Lambie each followed with a double. McKenzie Bebo laced a single for the Marines' fourth straight hit. Suhs' home run scored the twelfth and thirteenth runs of the inning as Marinette took a commanding 13-0 lead.

Wausaukee's Brooke Lesperance entered the game in the pitching circle and held the Marines scoreless for two innings. In the top of the fourth, with the score still at 13-0, the Ranger offense chipped away. Torri Jewett began the inning with a walk and Alexis Ranallo followed up with a double. Lesperance helped her own cause with a single that scored both Jewett and Ranallo. This trimmed the lead to 13-2.

In the home-half of the fourth however, Marinette went back on the offensive. Bearson started with a walk and stole second base. Lambie reached on an error and also swiped second. Bebo drew another walk before Abi Duda was hit by a pitch and Suhs and Lily Pomplin each followed with walks. The 15-run rule was implemented when Tatum Ihde was walked to bring in the fourth run of the inning. Marinette won its season opener 17-2 over Wausaukee.

Chloe Lambie earned the win on the mound for Marinette with four innings pitched, eight strikeouts, three walks, and just two earned runs on two hits. Wausaukee's Lexi Zak suffered the loss.

Hannah Bearson, McKenzie Bebo and Megan Suhs each recorded two hits for the Marines, while Lambie, Jordan Miller, and Tatum Ihde each had one. Wausaukee was led by Alexis Ranallo and Sasha Hirte, each posting a 1-for-1 day.



Fourth Inning Leads

Oconto Over Coleman


In the season opener for both teams, the Oconto Blue Devils traveled to Coleman to take on the Cougars. Six runs in the fourth inning for the Blue Devils proved to be the difference as they went on to win 8-2 over Coleman, Tuesday evening.

Oconto grabbed the early 2-0 lead when Jasey Jicha singled and scored thanks to a Morgan Durand double. Becky Berth helped herself by bringing in Durand with a single.

Both pitchers locked down the opposing offenses until the fourth inning when the Blue Devils did their damage. Two walks helped set up a suicide squeeze executed beautifully by Hannah Wusterbarth. Another walk loaded the bases and Jicha laced a triple that cleared the bases and put the lead at 6-0. Before the inning was finished, Oconto added two more runs and opened an 8-0 lead.

Coleman's first hit came in the final inning when Caitlin Huberty smacked a double. Annabelle Kotecki reached on an error that allowed Huberty to score, and a throwing error allowed Kotecki to score. This helped bring the final score to 8-2, in favor of the Blue Devils.

Becky Berth earned the mound win for Oconto with seven innings pitched, just one hit, and eight strikeouts. Annabelle Kotecki suffered the loss with a complete game, 11 hits, 13 strikeouts, and eight earned runs.

Morgan Durand paced the Blue Devil offense with a 4-for-4 day including two doubles, Jasey Jicha, Becky Berth and Hannah Wusterbarth all went 2-for-4 on the day.

Caitlin Huberty recorded the Cougars' only hit and went 1-for-3 in the game.



Peshtigo Looks To

Leave M&O with Title


After bagging the M&O championship last season the Peshtigo Bulldog softball team is gearing up for their last year amongst the M&O, a season that they hope will end with the Bulldogs on top. Last year they finished with a 23-4 overall record while going 14-0 in conference play.

When asked how the Bulldogs will continue to keep up the pressure on other M&O teams Tom Christensen said, "By getting out and practicing on days like today, out here in 35 degree weather"practice. I just love watching these players and seeing how the younger kids fit into this team, it's always exciting."

This year's seniors include Jenna Thill (1B, OF), Megan Behnke (C, OF) and Ashley Dudka (2B, OF) and Jaclyn DeMeuse (IF, OF). Juniors are Shae Tonn (P, OF, SS), Made Martin (3B, OF, C), Emma Frederickson (OF, 1B), Abbie Lindbom (OF, IF), Lexy DeBriyn (OF, P), Olivia Lewis (IF) and Skylar Watson (IF, C). The lone sophopmore on the squad is Haddie Enderby (IF, OF).

This team is successful for many reasons. They work hard, play harder and never skip a beat. But along with that they are just a big group of friends that like playing softball together.

When asked what she was looking forward to most about the start of the season Megan Behnke responded, "I'm most excited to just get out here with my friends. Everyone gets along so well on this team. This season we just need to work hard. We definitely want to win the conference again. We also want to make it further into the playoffs, we don't want a one-and-done post-season."

This season the Bulldogs will be without some key starters.

"We lost three great ball players," said Christiansen. "Majewski, Tonn and Klaver. They had so many accolades. It's hard but you just got to take the next three that are ready to step up and keep going. I feel that we have a great bunch of seniors returning and whole bunch of juniors that have three years of playing experience."

Amanda Majewski (P, Ut.). Majewski was named by the Green Bay Press Gazette as the area's Utility Player of the year. She also was selected as a player on the Wisconsin Senior All-Star team. She also received a WFSCA NE District Honorable Mention at pitcher and M&O first team all conference pitcher. The Peshtigo Times also named Majewski as the number three girls athlete of the year.

Also missing from this years squad is another outstanding pitcher Teja Tonn, who helped to propel the Bulldogs to numerous wins over her years of excellent pitching on the mound. She also held the ground of first base for her team. Along with Majewski, Tonn was named to the Wisconsin senior All-Star team as well as the WFSCA NE District honorable mention list. Tonn also received a first team selection in the M&O as well as being named the TimesLand number one girls athlete of the area.

Don't forget about the feisty third baseman Ryleigh Klaver who was also selected to the Senior All-Star team as well as receiving a WFSCA honorable mention.

So there are a few key components missing from this years group but head coach Tom Christensen is confident in his new squad and their ability to get the job done.

"I always tell the girls about our history as a team and this season, being our last in the M&O should be motivation enough to go out on top," said Christensen. "We certainly have some great teams to face next season but we will worry about that next year."



Gillett/Suring Lace Up the

Cleats For Another Season


The Gillett/Suring girls are getting ready for another season on the softball diamonds of the M&O. Though they had a tough year last season, ending 5-14 overall with a 4-10 conference final, the Hornets certainly can improve.

This year's squad has plenty of senior leadership with Myranda Pratsch (OF), Greta Sleeter (OF), Sarah Nauke (OF) and Victoria Loberger (1B and IF). Juniors include Faith Sorlie (C, IF), Taylor Yonker (IF), Jaoa Vandevelde (IF) and Willow Pecha (P, IF).

Angel Giffin (C, IF), Jerika Heroux (IF) and Hailey Alegra (IF, OF) will join the squad as sophomores while freshmen include Ava Hill (IF), Sophie Horsen (OF) and Annie Kohls (IF, OF).

The squad will be without last year's seniors Jessica Anderson (P), Kayla DeBauch (C), Maya Breed (IF), Mackenzie Simpson (IF) and Brittany Fetterley (IF).

Seven year veteran coach Mike Umentum will have a talented squad to guide this year and he hopes that his five returning starters will supply the team with the expertise needed to bring home some wins. He also stated that he feels his team has good speed along with youth. That youth may play against him on the mound but only time will tell.



Coleman Softball

Takes to the Field


The Coleman Cougar softball team, which distinguished itself last season in the post-season, making it to a sectional semifinal game will look to better last years mark of 18-8 overall and 10-4 in conference.

This years seniors include Mariana Meissner (IF, 3B), Ashlee Mayer (OF) and Miranda Rost (OF). Juniors are Annabelle Kotecki (P), Beth Gannigan (IF, OF). Kersten Gibson (OF) and Amalia Faudoa (IF).

Sophomores include Kailey Klimek (C, 1B, P), Meghan Fraser (OF), Autumn Magee (OF) and Rebekah Lansin (OF). The Cougars will be building a large freshman squad this year which includes Caitlin Huberty (SS, P), Haley Forner (IF). Sierra Pashek (IF, P) Lauren Osterberg (IF), Adelyn Salewski (OF), Maddy Coutley (OF) and Kyla Manning (C).

Though Coleman will have a deep bench from which to draw talent they will be without some amazing seniors of last year. One of those is McKenzie Kostreva who was named MVP of the M&O Conference as well as earning a WFSCA All-Star Team selection. Alicia Nosgovitz will also be missed this year along with Morgan Vandenheuval, Maddy Bieber and Kelsey Payne.

Head Coach Jean LeVash will be the boss again this year, entering her seven year as head coach. LeVash will look to lean on her strong pitching staff which includes the experienced Kotecki who showed that she had the right stuff last year. She also made note of her strong hitter, and boy can they crush a hit or two. Last year home runs became synonymous with the Cougar squad.



Stoltenberg's Squad

Ready To G


The Wausaukee Rangers behind the leadership of the most tenured coach in the circuit, Sue Stoltenberg, will look to bring the Wausaukee Ranger girls back to the top of the conference. Last season they ended with a 13-10 overall record while holding a 7-7 conference readout.

Though a bit slim on seniors Torri Jewett (3B, C), Alexis Ranallo (OF) and Ashley Stapleford (OF), there certainly isn't a shortage of juniors though, with 11 to join this year's squad.

The juniors are Lexi Zak (P), Sasha Hirte (C), Brooke Lesperance (P), Maddison Renikow (SS), Sirina Tyler (2B), Sammy Gruszynski (2B, IF), Grace Mertz (OF), Kaila Backhaus (OF), Bailey Walters (IF), Brooke Vanlaanan and Alee Argon (OF).

The sophomores are Callie Orlando (IF). Natalie Schroeder (IF), Larissa Rowley (IF), Avery Bartels (OF), Allie Ferdon (IF).

The biggest missing piece this year is Amber Dunlap, who played first base for the Rangers. She earned her second first team all-conference vote last season as well as earning an All-District honorable mention. She was named to the State All-Star team and was Academic All-State.

Stoltenberg is confident in her core of juniors and seniors noting that they hold verteran status on the fields of the M&O. She also expressed excitement for her JV squad which will good numbers this year.


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