Norway 11-12s softball team posts 2-2 mark in state tourney
TAYLOR — The Norway 11- and 12-year-old Little League softball team out of District 10 competed in the Michigan State Tournament hosted by Taylor North Little League earlier this month.
Norway advanced out of pool play with a 2-1 record, falling to eventual state champion Grosse Pointe 8-0 in the quarterfinals.
Norway defeated Vicksburg 18-0 in its opener. Jackson Southwest defeated Norway 5-1 in game two but Norway advanced by defeating Cheboygan 9-1.
On the mound, Norway was led by Pembine LL all-star Jo Jo Seidel, who was outstanding and toed the mound the entire tourney. Seidel’s stat-line for the four games was: 20 inning pitched, a 2-2 record, allowing nine earned runs and five walks, while fanning 43 batters.
Against Vicksburg, a catcher interference call by the home plate umpire was the only thing preventing Siedel from pitching a perfect game.
“JoJo is obviously a phenomenal player and she caused everyone else to raise their game, including us coaches,” said Norway head coach Brandon Baldwin. “I knew coming in that she was a great pitcher for our area and what I learned over the course of this tournament is that she is a great pitcher for any area. Out of the 10-plus teams that I watched while down at the tournament she was the best pitcher there and there wasn’t a close second.”
Out of 13 plate appearances, she was only retired once. “For all her on-field prowess, she is an even better kid and teammate,” Baldwin added. “I know that line gets used a lot, but there is zero exaggeration in placing it on JoJo.”
Anna DeBidart did a phenomenal job of coming in and catching for JoJo with nearly zero practice together, Baldwin added.
“Through four games there was only one instance where a girl reached base on a dropped third strike. I can’t emphasize how proud we were as coaches of the job she did behind the plate. She had a tall task and rose to the occasion to have a great tournament and help carry us through.”
Baldwin was assisted by Jim Moln and Jeff Gilroy throughout the tournament, and also during the season.
“I want to thank the parents of all the kids for their support and commitment in both time and money that made this trip possible. We not only had a great time on the field, but a great time off it as well. Most importantly I want to thank the players for leaving it all on the field,” Baldwin said. “The girls had a choice to make, we were down four runs to the eventual state champs (Grosse Pointe) and we either had to wait out the weather and get our last at-bats or head home in a weather-shortened game. The kids looked at us coaches like we were crazy when we asked them that question. Their response was, ‘No way are we quitting, we want to hit!’ They were a joy to coach and watch compete.”
Tournament batting statistics:
Abbie Rugg – 3-7, 3 singles, BB
Anna DeBidart – 3-13, BB, 2 singles, double
Jo Jo Siedel – 7-8, 5 singles, 2 doubles, 2 BB, 4 HBP
Jordyn Moln – 4-11, 2 singles, 2 doubles, 2 BB
Myah Gilroy – 3-9, 2 BB, 3 singles
Kendall Burklund – 1-10, BB, single
Tessa Castelaz – 2-9, 2 singles, BB
Chloe Chartier – 2-3, 2 singles, BB
Jessa Rossler – 0-4, BB
Peyton Allred – 0-3, 2 BB
Kaylee Baldwin – 0-2, 2 BB
Maria Murvich – 1-3, single, BB
Grace Payette – 0-2, 2 BB