Northwest High School pitcher Nevaeh Ingram was serving up Ks against Escanaba on Friday, striking out 14 batters in a 6-4 win. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
(April 18, 2021 6:12 PM) Like a band of traveling all-stars, going to various softball venues in lower Michigan is like a rite of passage for the Escanaba High School softball team.
And why not.
COVID-19 year excluded, the Eskymos are the two-time defending champions in Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 softball. Escanaba won titles in 2018 and 2019 with two different coaches.
This year former Michigan Center High School attendee Andy Fields is driving the bus – sort of.
“Every weekend we like to travel to different parts of the state to take on the best teams,” Fields said before his team faced Northwest last Friday. “We heard the Mounties have a pitcher going to Grand Valley next year.”
And they got the best that NHS pitcher Nevaeh Ingram had on Friday. Ingram struck out 14 batters in a 6-4 win over the Eskymos at home. But it was not easy. Escanaba scored four times in the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead.
The Mounties responded with three runs in the sixth inning to pull out the win.
A hearty group from Escanaba – enduring a six-hour trip to Jackson – supported the Eskymos.
“We have a challenging schedule that brings the best out of you,” Fields said. “We have a lot of young players on the team this season.”
But teams do not become two-time defending state champs by luck. The Eskymos faced Northwest again on Saturday during the Three Rivers quad tournament.
This time Escanaba got the best of Northwest scoring a 7-1 win over the Mounties. The Eskymos struck out only seven times and had eight hits in the win.