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1199 articles
Wednesday July 23, 2014
Braves, Rockets Prepare For Semifinal Challenge

BATTLE CREEK---They've both been there, done that. Now, the Gladstone Braves and Rapid River Rockets softball teams are both looking to bring home some hardware.

The Braves returned to Battle Creek for the eighth time in ten years on Thursday, while the Rockets made the trip to Cereal City for the third time in four years.

 

Hotel made the Braves a "good luck" cake.

Gladstone faces Springport in a Division Three state semifinal at 11:00 Friday morning, while Rapid River takes on Dansville in the D-4 semifinal at 6:00.

The Braves will face a Springport team that sports a 39-2-1 record and has one of the best pitchers in the state in sophomore Samantha Bates.

Bates won 30 games for the Spartans, including a no-hitter in last Tuesday's 5-0 quarterfinal win over Buchanan.

Gladstone Coach Jerry Smith isn't worried. He says his girls are ready.

"We've looked at everything, and I think we match up pretty good with them," Smith said. "I'm not gonna take them easy, of course, but I think that if we play the game that we're capable of playing, we can beat them."

The Braves (29-5-1) practiced in Battle Creek on Thursday after making the seven-hour drive from the Upper Peninsula. The girls, especially the seniors, are excited.
 


Courtney Nevala interview.

"We like our chances," center fielder Courtney Nevala said. "We don't think we're the underdog, even though we're ranked lower than the others. It doesn't get old. Each year we get here is more exciting."

"We need really tough defense, and we have to put the ball in play and make them play defense," shortstop Jordan Schwartz added.

Smith hasn't decided yet which of his two pitchers, Christine Sharon or Alison Austin, will get the ball for Friday's semifinal match-up.

Rapid River, meanwhile, also faces a tough challenge in the Dansville Aggies. Dansville is 30-5 on the season, and is led by sophomore pitcher Megan Kelly. Like Rapid River, Dansville has won three regional titles in the past four seasons.
 


George Kanyuh interview.

Rockets Coach George Kanyuh and his team arrived in Battle Creek Thursday night after practicing a home before hitting the road. He also believes that his kids will be ready. The Rockets are 33-5 this season.

"I know I sound like a broken record, but it comes down to offense and the mental part of the game," Kanyuh said. "The girls had a good practice last night. They knocked around some rotten fruit and eggs that Mike Dagenais (from Elmer's County Market) gave us. They're really lose, and confident, and that's probably the key for us."

The Rockets girls are hoping to fare better than in their last two appearances at Bailey Park, when they lost their semifinal games.

"This was my goal all year and we're all pumped and ready to go," said Rockets senior shortstop Ashleigh Monticello. "If our pitching's good, our batting's good, and our defense is good....we just have to play our game."
 


Shannon Wolf interview.

"Coming here three years out of four years as seniors, that's a pretty good accomplishment," Rockets senior left fielder Shannon Wolf added. "If we pitch well, play defense, and hit the ball, it should turn out pretty good."

Gladstone's game starts at 11:00 Friday morning, while Rapid River's contest starts at 6:00. Both games will be broadcast live on WCHT-AM (600) and on-line at www.rrnsports.com.

Click the thumbnails in the 'ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS' box at the top of the page to see more video interviews with coaches and girls from both local Delta County teams.







Choose team:
Date Time Opponent Score Record
4/6
3:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
10 - 1 (W)
1-0
4/7
12:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
8 - 2 (W)
2-0
4/7
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 1 (W)
3-0
4/12
4:00 PM
Manistique Emeralds
11 - 0 (W)
4-0
4/12
5:30 PM
Manistique Emeralds
27 - 0 (W)
5-0
4/24
5:30 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
16 - 3 (W)
6-0
4/24
7:00 PM
at Stephenson Eagles
17 - 1 (W)
7-0
4/25
4:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
8 - 1 (W)
8-0
4/25
6:00 PM
Superior Central Cougars
11 - 1 (W)
9-0
4/28
10:00 AM
at Gaylord Blue Devils
17 - 0 (W)
10-0
4/28
1:00 PM
at Rochester Adams
3 - 2 (W)
11-0
4/28
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
3 - 9 (L)
11-1
4/30
4:00 PM
at Negaunee Miners
8 - 0 (W)
12-1
4/30
6:00 PM
at Negaunee Miners
6 - 3 (W)
13-1
5/3
4:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
18 - 5 (W)
14-1
5/3
6:00 PM
at Manistique Emeralds
14 - 2 (W)
15-1
5/7
4:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
0 - 4 (L)
15-2
5/7
6:00 PM
at Marquette Redmen
8 - 3 (W)
16-2
5/12
10:00 AM
at Adrian
3 - 1 (W)
17-2
5/12
1:00 PM
at Beaverton
5 - 2 (W)
18-2
5/12
3:30 PM
at Ann Arbor Skyline
10 - 0 (W)
19-2
5/12
7:00 PM
Utica
1 - 4 (L)
19-3
5/14
4:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
15 - 0 (W)
20-3
5/14
6:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
12 - 0 (W)
21-3
5/16
4:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 8 (L)
21-4
5/16
6:00 PM
at Gladstone Braves
2 - 6 (L)
21-5
5/18
4:00 PM
at Superior Central Cougars
1 - 0 (W)
22-5
5/18
6:00 PM
at Superior Central Cougars
1 - 0 (W)
23-5
5/21
3:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
1 - 0 (W)
24-5
5/21
5:00 PM
Negaunee Miners
9 - 3 (W)
25-5
5/24
4:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
17 - 0 (W)
26-5
5/24
6:00 PM
at Munising Mustangs
16 - 2 (W)
27-5
5/29
1:00 PM
Munising Mustangs
19 - 0 (W)
28-5
6/1
1:00 PM
Newberry Indians
16 - 0 (W)
29-5
6/1
5:00 PM
Ironwood Red Devils
10 - 0 (W)
30-5
6/9
10:00 AM
Posen Vikings
2 - 1 (W)
31-5
6/9
1:00 PM
Rogers City Hurons
6 - 1 (W)
32-5
6/12
3:00 PM
Bellaire Eagles
10 - 0 (W)
33-5
6/15
6:00 PM
Dansville Aggies
3 - 4 (L)
33-6



Becker Is All-Stater; Three Braves Also Honored
Wednesday June 20, 2012
Rockets Dominate Div. 4 Softball All-State Team
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Braves Can't Get Big Hit; Fall To Clinton In Final
Saturday June 16, 2012
Costly Errors Hurt Rockets In 4-3 Semifinal Loss
Friday June 15, 2012
Braves Rally Past Springport In D3 State Semifinals
Friday June 15, 2012
Braves Returning To Battle Creek After Shutout Win
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Battle Creek-Bound! Rockets Overpower Bellaire
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Delta County Softball Teams Ready For Quarters
Sunday June 10, 2012
Braves, Rockets Repeat; Quarters Next In Traverse
Saturday June 9, 2012
Braves Win Tenth Straight District Championship
Friday June 1, 2012
Softball Post-Season Opens With Lopsided Games
Tuesday May 29, 2012
Girls Softball Districts Begin Tuesday Afternoon
Saturday May 26, 2012
Braves Sweep Eskymos In Tough Softball Twinbill
Tuesday May 22, 2012
Rapid River Girls Sweep; Emeralds Get Split
Monday May 21, 2012
Tired Eskymos, Braves Finish Busy Softball Stretch
Saturday May 19, 2012
Braves Pull Out DH Sweep Of Eskymos
Thursday May 17, 2012
Braves Open Busy Stretch With Sweep Of Rockets
Wednesday May 16, 2012
Braves Drop Two Of Three At Petoskey Invite
Saturday May 12, 2012
Rockets Finish Second At Ann Arbor Tournament
Saturday May 12, 2012
Rockets Blast Emeralds In Softball Doubleheader
Thursday May 3, 2012
Rockets Softball Rolls Past Negaunee; Now 13-1
Monday April 30, 2012
Braves Top Rockets To Win Tourney; Eskymos 1-2
Saturday April 28, 2012
9-0: Rockets Sweep Cougars To Stay Undefeated
Thursday April 26, 2012
Gladstone Wins Pinconning Softball Invitational
Saturday April 14, 2012
Delta County Softball Teams Succeed In Dome
Sunday April 8, 2012
Rapid River, Escanaba Post Softball Wins At Dome
Friday April 6, 2012
Shepeck Off To Great Start With Western Michigan
Sunday April 1, 2012