‘Really special’ title

NORWAY – From 27 losses to conference champions.

The third-year Norway high School softball team, with 4-3 and 8-5 victories over Negaunee Friday evening, captured its first Mid-Peninsula Conference championship.

“I had my hopes set on a split,” Knights coach Scott Conery said of his mindset heading into Friday’s action. “I thought that would be a huge step for us. To get two was really special.”

That Norway team that debuted with a 27-loss season in 2011, has now run its record to 21-6 and 9-0 in league play – handing the Miners their first conference losses of the season.

“It’s been an amazing transformation,” Conery said. “It’s all the girls. Their mindset, work ethic. They play so well as a team. It’s always somebody stepping up with the big hit or big play, really a total team effort.”

In the first game Friday it was Rachel Conery blasting a three-run home run in the first inning to send the Knights on their way. Jacey Bal added a sacrifice fly for another run in the fifth.

the four runs proved to be enough for Ashley Zanon in the circle. Zanon scattered four hits while striking out four, overcoming nine walks for the win.

Norway led 8-0 in game two, thanks to a six-run fourth. Conery again provided the game’s big blow with a triple in the fourth.

The Knights had nine hits in the game. Zanon pitched through the fourth before giving way to Harlie Caster for the final three innings.

Negaunee managed five hits and scored most of its late runs with help from seven walks in the game.

Adena Anderson suffered the game one loss, while sister Rosealie took the loss in game two.

The conference champion Knights wrap up regular season play next week beginning with a trip to Marquette Monday.

“I was thrilled, really happy for the girls,” Conery said. “All the hard work has paid off.”