Norway sweeps Negaunee
NORWAY – A win can turn into a loss on one pitch.
Norway (13-7) turned a loss into a walkoff win with a two-run double by Ada VanHolla against Negaunee on Friday.
The 5-4 win capped a doubleheader sweep against the Miners (6-9).
Norway beat Negaunee 10-8 in the first game. The Miners took a 5-0 lead in the first inning before the Knights gradually caught up.
“It was nice to see how we battled back. We took a lead and gave them a couple runs in the sixth,” Norway coach Bob Bal said of the first game. “A five-run first inning, a lot of teams can get down on that but we were one base at a time, one run at a time.”
Negaunee coach Randy Carlson said he liked the Miners’ effort in comparison to a loss to Marquette on Thursday.
“You never are happy when you lose, it’s always disappointing. We played a game last night that I told the girls was a debacle,” Carlson said. “We didn’t compete, we had double-digit errors. I challenged them that whatever happens, we needed to come to play. We came to play. Norway’s a good team and both games were good battles. I’m disappointed that we didn’t win but I’m happy with the way they played.”
Negaunee rallied in the second game with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings.
Alli Sheski lined a double down the third-base line on the first pitch of the seventh inning. Jada Lasater battled the count and took a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. They advanced to second and third on a bobbled catch by Negaunee’s catcher. VanHolla connected on a line drive double to left-center field to end the game.
“We were talking all night how the ump was calling the inside strike. I was telling the girls I think we had about five strikeouts on the inside pitch, I said you can hit the inside pitch if you just step out,” Bal said. “She ripped it down the line for a nice double. Jada took a walk and then both runners came home on that double by VanHolla. It was nice to win like that. We played Gwinn the night before and it wasn’t much of a game. It’s nice when you play competitive games, win or lose. It makes us better.”
VanHolla also doubled in the fifth inning and scored Norway’s third run of the game.
Madysen Kontio hit a two-run homerun to centerfield, an impressive feat given a brisk 10 mph wind blowing left to right field.
Sheski pitched the second game for Norway. She gave up five hits, three walks and struck out five.
Abby Nelson pitched the second game for Negaunee. She gave up five hits, four walks and struck out five.
In the first game, a combination of offense and defensive errors gave both teams opportunities to score runs. The Miners staked a 5-0 lead in to start the game. Norway made three errors in the inning.
The Knights responded with a run in the first and tied the game in the second with four more runs. Norway then took control with a run in the third, three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.
Negaunee closed the gap in the final inning, pushing across three and threatening with a runner on third and the tying run on second base. However, the Miners grounded a chopper to the pitcher for the final out.
Norway plays four doubleheaders next week, starting at Kingsford on Monday.
Negaunee plays at Westwood on Monday.