EagleHerald/Brian Bell Marinette's Sydney Nemetz is late to tag out a Luxemburg-Casco player at home plate during Tuesday's WIAA Division 2 regional opener in Marinette.
EagleHerald/Brian Bell Marinette's Sydney Nemetz is late to tag out a Luxemburg-Casco player at home plate during Tuesday's WIAA Division 2 regional opener in Marinette.

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MARINETTE — Luxemburg-Casco played small ball and Marinette struggled on both sides as the Spartans defeated the Marines 7-1 in Tuesday’s WIAA Division 2 regional opener.

“We hit some balls hard that just didn’t find an opening, but give (Luxemburg-Casco) credit, they played small ball early on, jumped on some nerves in the beginning of the game and that’s just a veteran crew over there,” Marinette coach Josh Lacy said. “They knew what they were doing. They got a lead on us and held us down. We know that’s how they play; they did the same thing in the last two games. Just weren’t able to make the plays we needed to make.”

L-C wasted no time in putting runs on the board, scoring four in the top of the first inning off Marinette starting pitcher Sydney Nemetz.

A leadoff walk and a single from Allison Routhieaux put a runner in scoring position and Jenna Jorgensen singled in the first run of the game in the next at-bat. Ally Dart then stepped up and hit a two-RBI double to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead before an out was recorded. After a groundout, Sierra Shefchik reached base on a fielder’s choice that allowed Dart to score, but Shefchik was stranded on the bases as Nemetz got out of the inning with a flyout and a strikeout.

Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the third, the Marines had a chance to score when Maya Carviou singled with two outs and Matti Renikow singled behind her. Both runners advanced to second and third on a throwing error but were stranded as the next batter went down on strikes to end the threat.

Marinette had another scoring opportunity in the fourth after L-C put up two more runs in its half of the inning, but a base running mishap caused the Marines to come away empty handed.

Nemetz singled to lead off and Jordan Boettcher doubled behind her to put runners on second and third with no outs. After a strikeout for the first out, Kalina Garza flew-out to the second baseman just a few feet out of the infield. Nemetz’s pinch runner, Lexi Kacalo, took off for home on the catch but the throw made it there first and she was tagged out for an inning-ending double play.

After the fourth inning, Nemetz was solid on the mound as she shut down the L-C bats for one hit in the final three innings and didn’t allow a runner to get past second base.

With the seventh inning closing in and the game still 7-0, the Marines needed to make something happen at the plate. That came in the form on the nine hitter, Kylie Sauve, getting hit by a pitch to start things off.

Sauve went from first-to-third on a single from Hanna Ebsch and scored on Renikow’s one-out RBI-single. With runners on first and second and still only one out, L-C’s Ally Dart put an end to Marinette’s mini-rally with a strikeout and a flyout to take a 7-1 lead into the sixth.

In the sixth, Garza hit a moon-shot to center field that would have sailed over the fence if the wind wasn’t blowing in for a would-be two-run home run, but the wind disagreed and kept the ball in play as it fell into the glove of the L-C center fielder. Dart sat the Marines down in order in the bottom of the seventh to help her team move on and end Marinette’s season.

While struggling a little with control, Nemetz still found a way to throw a complete game. She allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits with eight walks and eight K’s. Marinette totaled seven hits in the game with two each coming from Carviou and Renikow and one apiece from Ebsch, Nemetz and Boettcher.

“We had almost the same amount of hits, it just comes down to us not getting the timely hits we needed and they did,” Lacy said.

The Marines only lose two seniors from this year’s team, Abi Duda and Garza, and although the number of players being lost isn’t high, the amount of leadership and energy Duda and Garza brought to the team will surely be missed.

“I’m very proud of this team and how the girls competed all season long, particularly Abi Duda and Kalina Garza,” Lacy said. “Duda is an unbelievable leader that we’re going to miss and Kalina really came on for us towards the end of the year in the batter’s box and breathed new life into the team. We have a lot of girls coming back next year, but those two are tough to replace with everything they brought to the table.”

WP — Ally Dart 7IP, 7H, 1R, 1ER, 0W, 4K

LP — Sydney Nemetz 7IP, 8H, 7R, 5ER, 8W, 8K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Mattie Renikow 2-4, RBI; Maya Carviou 2-4; Jordan Boettcher 1-3, 2B; Nemetz 1-3; Hanna Ebsch 1-4

Luxemburg-Casco 401 200 0 — 7

Marinette 000 010 0 — 1