Norway softball’s season ends with loss to Bessemer

Norway senior Olivia Kraemer (8) looks down to home plate during an MHSAA Division 4 District 97 contest at Marion Park on Tuesday. (Sean Chase/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — After finishing its Skyline Central Conference schedule undefeated, the Norway varsity softball team opened the MHSAA Division 4 postseason at Marion Park on Tuesday against Bessemer/Gogebic.

It was a back-and-forth battle with the Miners picking up an 11-8 win in the District 97 pre-district contest.

“We weren’t ready,” Knights head coach Bob “Kuba” Bal said. “And I don’t know what that was. I can’t put my finger on it. We left 14 runners on base and committed seven errors. That in a nutshell is your ball game.”

Bessemer opened the first inning with two runs to take a 2-0 lead. It also added a run in the second.

Then in the bottom of the frame, Norway began to rally. On the fifth pitch of her at-bat, Victoria Cooper smacked a home run to center field and the lead was down to 3-1.

“It should be a 1-1 game but it’s a 3-1 game,” Bal said. “They’re a good team, they hit the ball. Hats off to them, I’m not taking anything away from them.”

Cooper has made a habit of doing that for Norway all season.

“She had seven total bases in the game, so that’s pretty good,” Bal said. “She never played softball, at all. I told her, ‘I wish I had her another year.'”

The Miners hit two home runs in the third and added seven runs to their total. They led 10-1.

The Knights scored two runs on Bessemer errors in the next half inning. Then Anna Debidart drove in a run with a walk. Norway trailed 10-4.

The Knights had a chance in the fifth to make a move but Kara Stanchina was called out for batter’s interference when she was hit by a throw from the catcher.

“Kara didn’t know she was throwing it,” Bal said. “She’s looking at me for the next sign and I’ll go to my grave saying that Kara never moved out of the box.

“Bases loaded with Kara Stanchina in the box, I’ll take that.”

Both teams fell silent until the sixth when Olivia Kraemer drove in a run on a single.

The Knights would load the bases again in the frame but couldn’t capitalize.

In the top of the seventh, Bessemer added a run to increase its lead to 11-4.

But with its season on the line, Norway tried to rally in the bottom of the seventh.

Cooper drove in a run with a single while Payton Paquette added an RBI single.

Kraemer drove in the last run on a grounder and the Knights fell 11-8.

Stanchina was tagged with the loss for Norway. She struck out three in 2.2 innings. Jordyn Moln finished the game in the circle. She fanned four batters in 4.1 innings of work.

Cooper, Paquette and Kraemer led the way with two RBIs apiece. Debidart added one. She also walked three times.

The end of the season means the end of the road for the Knights seniors, Cooper, Kraemer and Elizabeth Romitti.

“(Cooper) can hit the ball,” Bal said. “There goes all my home runs. But it’s going to be next man up. … We’re going to let the dust settle for a month and see where we’re at.”

Bessemer plays Forest Park today at Marion Park at 10 a.m.


MARQUETTE — The Kingsford varsity softball team closed its regular season schedule on a high note Tuesday as it picked up a 12-2 win over the Sentinels in Marquette.

Mya Brunswick kicked off the scoring for the Flivvers in the first inning. She singled to left field allowing Anna Bortolini to score. Addy Kriegl drove Brunswick in with a grounder later in the frame and held a 2-0 lead.

Eden Janousek increased Kingsford’s lead in the second when she drove in a run on a walk.

However, Marquette would add a run in its half of the inning.

Then in the top of the fourth, the Flivvers blew the game open. They scored five runs with Kailey Sundquist and Jenna Vau driving in runs.

Kingsford added three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to secure the win.

Brunswick picked up the win for Kingsford. She struck out four in 4.1 innings.

Ady Weber closed the game with one strikeout in 1.2 innings.

Sundquist, Janousek and Viau led the Flivvers with three RBIs apiece.

Brunswick and Kriegl each added one. Sundquist also drew three walks. Bortolini and Viau led the way with two stolen bases apiece.


FLORENCE, Wis. — After bringing a regional championship trophy back to Florence, Wis. the Florence varsity softball team looked to continue its strong postseason on Tuesday against Newman Catholic.

However, the Cardinals were too much for the Bobcats to handle and Newman Catholic advanced with the 6-2 victory.

“We had a great season this year and had a lot of fun along the way,” Florence head coach Dan Robinson said. “We lose four good seniors that played hard for four years, Isabella Millan, Vicki Peterson, Leighton Lambert and Desi Jespersen.

“What a great bunch of kids.”

The Bobcats struck first, in the third, to take a 1-0 lead.

Florence out hit the Cardinals, 9-3, but a bad showing in the fourth inning hurt the home team’s chances. Newman Catholic pulled away with a five-run showing in the fourth.

The Cardinals added a run in the fifth while the Bobcats scored one more run in the sixth.


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