Ely scores a softball upset

HIGH FIVE AFTER A BIG HIT - Ely head coach Tom McDonald congratulates ninth-grader Jenna Merhar after her two-run triple in the Timberwolves’ 5-4 victory over Nashwauk-Keewatin. Photo by Eric Sherman

by Tom Coombe -

The Ely Timberwolves have served notice on Section 7A.
A 5-4 win over Nashwauk-Keewatin April 13 may be a milestone of sorts for the high school softball team.
The Wolves evened their record at 1-1, but perhaps more importantly knocked off a visiting Spartan team that went 17-4 a year ago, placed third in the section and handled Ely with ease.
“It was a great win for us against a team that beat us 15-0 last year,” said Ely Head Coach Tom McDonald.
The Wolves ued a little bit of everything - solid pitching and defense, timely hitting and some of the ‘little things’ - to prevail.
Seventh-grader Charly Flom scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the fourth. She reached third base then scampered home on an errant throw to losing pitcher Aubrey Nelson.
Winning pitcher Erika Mattson handled things from there, with plenty of defensive support.
Mattson, who fired a four-hitter and struck out seven, slammed the door on the Spartans in the final three innings.
N-K threatened in the sixth, but Mattson wiggled free from a bases-loaded jam.
The freshman set down the Spartans in order in the seventh, with McCartney Kaercher spinning a web gem at second base to record the final out.
Mattson did not give up an earned run and walked five while going the distance.
.Ely fell behind early but countered at the plate, with freshman Jenna Merhar delivering the key blow.
With the score tied at two, Merhar drilled a Nelson offering to the gap and went all the way to third, driving home two runs on the play.
Flom scored twice and had a hit while making the jump from Little League baseball, and senior Anna Urbas drove in a run.
Both Merhar and senior catcher Cate DeRemee had two hits for the winners, and Mattson laid down three sacrifice bunts, advancing three runners who eventually scored..
• The Wolves’ game with Mt. Iron-Buhl Tuesday was rained out and will be made up as part of a May 16 twinbill in Ely.
• The Thursday game against Northwoods was change to this Wednesday in Ely.