Houghton, MI – June 4, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Softball Team defeated the Calumet Copper Kings 6-2 in the 2021 District Playoffs. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1 and 99.9.
The Miners started the playoffs strong by striking first against the Copper Kings. Lead-off hitter Allie Ennett got into scoring position with one out, and she was eventually batted in by WestPAC Player of the Year Katelyn Lammi to give Negaunee the early 1-0 lead. Calumet’s hitters struggled in the bottom of the first. It was three up and three down to keep the Copper Kings scoreless.
The Miners got some breathing room in the top of the second when Allie Ennett hit an RBI single into center field to put Negaunee up 2-0. On defense, Negaunee came up big to maintain their lead. With runners on the corners with only one out, two consecutive tag outs left both Calumet runners stranded and kept the Miners up 2-0.
The Copper Kings’ outfielders had a great performance this afternoon, which allowed them to stay in the game. Three put outs, including an incredible diving catch by Morgan Erkkila kept Calumet within striking distance. However, the Miners were also solid, and Calumet still scoreless after the third. It was another three up and three down inning by the Miners defense to keep their 2-0 advantage.
Despite the first two batters being quickly put out, it turned into a huge inning for the Miners. After a runner got on first, Ennett continued her incredible day at the plate by rifling one to the outfield wall for an inside-the-park home run to put Negaunee up 4-0. Later on, Lammi got another run across the plate with her second RBI base hit. Finally, Grace Nardi took one for the team by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Negaunee went up 6-0 before the Copper Kings could retire the side. Calumet was unable to answer, as the Miners had no issue getting the three outs. Josie Thompson recorded her fourth strikeout of the game in this inning. The Miners stayed on top 6-0.
The Miners had a comfortable lead already, but they weren’t able to expand it in the fifth. Two runners were left stranded, but nobody came across for Negaunee. In the bottom of the fifth, Calumet finally got on the board. An RBI single by starting pitcher Elli Dgerf and a sacrifice grounder by Jana Luokus cut the Copper King’s deficit to four. Negaunee still led 6-2 after five innings.
Once again, the Miners were trying to build on their already significant lead. With two outs, it looked like they had a chance to put the game out of reach. Two runners got into scoring position, but a great fielding play by the Copper Kings got them out of the jam. Nonetheless, the Miners’ defense controlled the pace of the game all afternoon, and they stopped Calumet from cutting into their lead. Negaunee was still up 6-2 going into the final inning.
The Miners couldn’t get any insurance runs in the top of the seventh, so Calumet had one last chance to rally. However, the Miners’ defense once again made great plays to close out the game. Negaunee got the 6-2 victory, and they move on to the district final.
NEXT GAME: Friday, June 4th, as they take on the Westwood Patriots in the 2021 District Final. Tune in for the Elder Agency Pregame Show with Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1 and 99.9.