Softball: Masuk downs Lauralton in Class L quarters

Masuk High freshman Sam Schiebe fired a three-hit shutout to propel the Panthers to a 2-0 triumph over Lauralton Hall in the Class L state softball quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon in Monroe.

Schiebe scattered two singles, a double, walked four and struck out five, as second-seeded Masuk (20-4) advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2013.

Awaiting the Panthers will be No. 6 seed Foran High of Milford (19-5). Masuk defeated Foran 3-2 to win the Class L title back in 2013.

Jenna Hall and Gretchen Bunovsky drove in the Masuk runs against Lauralton Hall ace Ireland Miessau, who struck out nine and allowed seven hits.

Hall belted a two-out double to left field in the bottom of the second inning that was just out of the reach of Crusader outfield Margaret Britt. That allowed Bunovsky, who singled up the middle with two outs and stole second, to score what turned out to be the game-winning run.

Bunovsky provided an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth, with a baserunning assist from teammate Erica Pullen.

Pullen led off the frame with a single and stole second. After Allie Lichvar flied out, Bunovsky singled sharply to center field.

Crusader center fielder Emma Larke came up throwing and looked to have Pullen at the plate, but the Panther sophomore’s slide separated the ball from catcher Maura Keary’s mitt to make it 2-0.

Lauralton Hall (20-6) never seemed to rattle Schiebe, failing to get the lead-off batter on in any inning.

Christiana Cottrell dropped in base hit with two outs in the fifth, but was tagged out by Hall attempting to stretch it to a triple after a crispy relay from right fielder Maggie Lebinski to second baseman Rachel McGinnis.

Masuk also turned a double play to seal the victory in the top of the seventh.

Emily Bump walked with one out and Erin McCann followed with a towering fly to center field. Panther senior Hailey Kobza tracked it down and fired to first for a game-ending double play.

Overall, Masuk’s defense was stellar behind Schiebe — led by Alexa Bacoulis at shortstop. The sophomore had six assists and three putouts, as the Panthers played error-free in the field.