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Tuesday June 19, 2018
Braves Win Tenth Straight District Championship

GLADSTONE---A decade and counting.

The incredible streak of success for the Gladstone High School softball program continued on Friday as the girls won another district championship, beating the Negaunee Miners, 8-0 in the semifinal, and then turning back the Houghton Gremlins, 13-0, in the championship game.

And that makes ten straight district titles for the Braves, but Gladstone Coach Jerry Smith says that it keeps getting sweeter with every trophy added to the school's collection.

"No, they're not ("old hat") because every time we do it, it seems like we do it with a different set of kids," Smith said. "Every team has been unique to itself. Both pitchers pitched well today, the defense was tough. We made some spectuaculr plays out there today. And our hitting was better than normal."

Gladstone was finally allowed to host a district tournament for the first time in the program's history. That's because the Michigan High School Atheltic Association would not let schools who do not have boys baseball to be district hosts. Until now, that is.

And so the Braves return to the regional tournament for the tenth straight year, and the girls have won the regionals nine years in a row, too. The last time Gladstone did not advance at least to the state quartefinal round was in 2002.

SEMIFINAL #1: HOUGHTON 9, MANISTIQUE 3----This game was tied 2-2 in the sixth inning when the Emeralds tried a double steal to try to get two runners into scoring position. It didn't work, and Manistique ended up not scoring in the inning.

Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Emeralds pitcher Haley MacGregor started to tire, and there were a couple of errors on the Manisitique defense. Houghton scored seven runs in that inning as Kalyssa Jenerou came on to pitch. The biggest hit of the inning was a two-run triple to the fence by Gremlin lead-off batter Brooke Sten.

Manistique finishes its season with an 18-18 record.

SEMIFINAL #2: GLADSTONE 8, NEGAUNEE O---This score is deceiving, as the Braves found themselves in a battle with the Miners, and pitcher Cheyenne Cherubini kept the Gladstone batters off-balance for most of the semifinal game.

Katie Becker had four hits on Friday.
The Braves got an unearned run in the first inning as Katie Becker was safe on an error, stole second, went to third on a fly ball, and scored on a wild pitch. Then in the fourth inning, another unearned run as Jammie Botruff doubled and eventually scored on an error by the Negaunee third baseman.

But before that unearned run happened, a great defensive play by Gladstone second baseman Sammi Strasser kept Negaunee behind by a run. Alley Nelson was hit by a pitch, and stole second.

With two out, Erin King lifted a fly ball to right that looked like it would land and perhaps tie the game for the Miners.


Sam Strasser Diving Catch
Strasser laid out and caught the ball just above the grass, keeping Gladstone ahead.

"Oh, that was an awesome play," Smith said. "I hope that one's on TV, because it should be." TV-6 did air our replay, and you can see it here.

The game was still 2-0 entering the final inning, as Christine Sharon handcuffed the Miners batters and the defense continued to be good behind her. One especially good defensive play came in the sixth inning when Jordan Schwartz came over from short stop to get a ball that had been popped up between the circle and second base.

And she's.....Safe at the plate!
"Sam (Strasser) amd I both called it," Schwartz said. "Then, she was like, "take it". So, I was wasn't really thinking. I was just playing, and it happened."

The top of the seventh was  a nightmare for Negaunee, as four errors helped the Braves to turn a 2-0 game into an 8-0 rout.

Becker had an RBI single, and Nicole Sharon had a two-run hit as part of that big inning. Christine Sharon ended up tossing a two-hitter.

"It was a good game all the way to the seventh inning," Smith said.


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: GLADSTONE 13, HOUGHTON 0---After a brief break for a bite to eat, the girls were back on the field as a light rain fell. And the Braves served quick notice that the young Houghton Gremlins would not pull an upset on this day.

Gladstone scored six runs in the first inning, two of them on a double by Schwartz. Jordan Kowalski, Nicole Sharon, and Christine Sharon had RBI hits in that inning.

"We kind of expected that because they're young and they don't have much of a feeder program up there yet," Smith said. "The pitcher they had (Sten) was doing a good job."

Jordan Kowalski ready to pound the ball.
Gladstone scored two more runs in the second inning as Kowalski and Nicole Sharon both had doubles. Then Nicole Sharon's two-run hit was the highlight of a three-run third inning that gave Gladstone an 11-0 lead.

It was her third hit of the game.

'They were throwing me a lot of inside pitches," Sharon said. "It's not something that I like, but I decided to turn on them this time."

Then Schwartz put the icing on the cake with a long two-run home run in the fourth inning to make it a 13-0 game.



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Jordan Schwartz RBI double
"That felt so good," Schwartz said about her third home run of the season. "At first, I didn't think it went over, then I heard it hit the car, and I was like 'YES!'. Sorry about that, whoever's vehicle I hit!"

Christine Sharon pitched the first three innings to earn her second pitching win of the afternoon. Alison Austin pitched the final two innings. The two combined to throw a no-hitter, as Houghton got just one baserunner in five innings (on an infield error).

Gladstone (26-5-1) advances to the regional tournament in Charlevoix next Saturday.

Click the thumbnails in the "ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS" box to see more pictures, more videos, and listen to audio highlights and interviews. Thanks to Mike Dagenais for taking the pictures and videos!




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Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
4/7
2:00 PM
Escanaba Eskymos
2 - 3 (L)
4/19
4:00 PM
at Gwinn Model Towners
14 - 1 (W)
4/19
6:00 PM
at Gwinn Model Towners
22 - 3 (W)
4/24
4:00 PM
at Escanaba Eskymos
0 - 4 (L)
4/24
6:00 PM
at Escanaba Eskymos
2 - 10 (L)
4/25
4:00 PM
Marquette Redmen
5 - 4 (W)
4/25
5:45 PM
Marquette Redmen
3 - 2 (W)
4/26
4:00 PM
Manistique Emeralds
11 - 0 (W)
4/26
6:00 PM
Manistique Emeralds
16 - 0 (W)
4/30
4:00 PM
Rapid River Rockets
0 - 8 (L)
4/30
6:00 PM
Rapid River Rockets
3 - 6 (L)
5/1
4:00 PM
Houghton Gremlins
6 - 2 (W)
5/1
6:00 PM
Houghton Gremlins
6 - 5 (W)
5/4
4:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
12 - 9 (W)
5/4
6:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
7 - 0 (W)
5/7
4:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
9 - 3 (W)
5/7
6:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
19 - 0 (W)
5/8
4:00 PM
at Houghton Gremlins
9 - 0 (W)
5/8
5:00 PM
at Houghton Gremlins
8 - 0 (W)
5/10
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
0 - 10 (L)
5/10
6:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 14 (L)
5/15
4:00 PM
Escanaba Eskymos
1 - 9 (L)
5/15
6:00 PM
Escanaba Eskymos
2 - 9 (L)
5/18
4:00 PM
Norway Knights
10 - 0 (W)
5/18
6:00 PM
Norway Knights
10 - 0 (W)
5/19
2:29 PM
at Petoskey Northmen
1 - 3 (L)
5/21
3:00 PM
at Rapid River Rockets
0 - 1 (L)
5/21
5:00 PM
at Rapid River Rockets
3 - 9 (L)
5/23
4:00 PM
at Norway Knights
8 - 2 (W)
5/23
6:00 PM
at Norway Knights
15 - 1 (W)
5/29
6:00 PM
Pickford Panthers
15 - 0 (W)
6/1
3:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
0 - 8 (L)



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Saturday April 14, 2012
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Wednesday April 11, 2012
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Sunday April 8, 2012
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