Baseball is a numbers game and Nicole Marcy put up some numbers this season.
The Pillager Huskies sophomore batted .574 in Park Region Conference play and .508 for the season. She knocked out 32 hits with 11 going for extra base, including three home runs. She drove in a team-high 19 runs and only struck out three times.
Last week Marcy went 2-5 with four RBIs in the Huskies' 12-3 win over West Central in the South Subsection 6-1A play-in game May 19. In the second game of the day, she went 2-4 with a home run against Verndale's Nicole Bart, one of the top pitchers in the conference. Pillager eventually lost the game 5-4 to end the season 8-12.
"She's one of the best pitchers that I have faced," said Marcy. "I think I just went up there with confidence and the right mind set. When I hit the ball I couldn't tell right away if it was going to be a home run, but I knew it was a good hit. I was so happy."
Pillager head coach Shannon Hunstad said Marcy thrived against better pitchers. He said as a freshman Marcy's hitting was OK, but this season she got stronger and quicker with the bat. Because of that he penciled her in at the No. 4 spot and never worried again.
"Her hitting has come a long way this year," said Hunstad. "I know it felt like we worked out for three months in the gym at the beginning of the season, but her swing got so much quicker and stronger. She certainly didn't disappoint with the bat."
The two-year varsity first baseman was a reliable fielder as well but, as Hunstad put it, if she's going to hit better than .500, solid is all you need at first base.
"She's a very solid player and although we went 8-12 we are a young team and our conference was a difficult one this year," said Hunstad. "We have a lot of sophomores on this team, but I never had to worry about Nicole. She was very consistent and reliable. I knew she as going to hit the ball. She only walked three times and struck out three times. Teams had to make a play in order to get her out.
Position: First base
Key stat: Went 4-for-9 with a home run and five RBIs in two games.
"Our future looks bright. If the coach can figure out what he's doing and not screw it up we could be good."
Marcy, who also plays volleyball, agrees. She's going to play summer softball again and work on her hitting and overall game to help the team.
"I think we have a good chance of going far in the next two years," Marcy said. "We all know how to play and we all play very well together.
Marcy said she was pleased with how her season went. She never expected to have that high of a batting average but it was one of her goals entering the season.
She said it was all about attitude.
"I was more nervous entering the season, but once I started hitting I got more confident," Marcy said. "I think I got more of an attitude, especially against better pitchers. I thought of it as more of a challenge and set my mind for it."
Other notable performances:
Softball: Sara Hoge, Aitkin, finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and pitched the win against Crosby-Ironton.
Courtney Messinger, Little Falls, went 3-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs against Sauk Rapids. She went 2-4 with a triple and two RBIs against Sauk Rapids.
Lexi Hoemberg, Wadena-Deer Creek, was 2-4 with three RBIs against Breckenridge.
Steph Perkins, W-DC, struck out nine in a complete-game shutout over Breckenridge.
Erin Johnson, Pine River-Backus, went 3-4 with two RBIs and struck out seven in a win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley.
Track and field: Ashley Lisson, Staples-Motley, won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Subsection 3, Section 6-1A meet.
Brigetta Berg, Wadena-Deer Creek, won the pole vault and discus at the Subsection 3, Section 6-1A meet.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at jeremy. email@example.com or 855-5856.
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