Boyne City, MI – June 12, 2021 – The Negaunee Miners Softball Team fell in the 2021 Regional Final to the Charlevoix Raiders 3-1. Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1 and 99.9.
The Miners’ win in the semifinal against Gladstone was helped by their success in the top of the first, but in this one, Negaunee couldn’t get any contact to start the game. In the bottom of the inning, the Raiders were threatening to take the first lead. They had two runners in scoring position with just one out, but the Miners were able to get out of the early jam and prevent Charlevoix from getting on the board. It was still scoreless after the first.
Negaunee ended the first inning by getting out of a jam, and Charlevoix would do the same in the top of the second. The Miners had runners on the corners with two outs when a foul tip was caught by the Raiders’ catcher to retire the side. The Miners’ defense was also strong this inning. Apart from an error that led to a single, it was an easy three outs for the Miners to keep the game at 0-0.
The stalemate was finally ended when West PAC Player of the Year Katelyn Lammi drove a solo home run into right-center field to give the Miners a 1-0 lead. Things were looking great for the Miners, but Charlevoix had a great response in the bottom of the third. Two RBI base hits and a sacrifice grounder put Charlevoix up 3-1 before Negaunee could end the inning.
After taking the lead, Charlevoix’s confidence grew on defense. It was a dominant performance by starting pitcher Madeleine Sandison, who had two strikeouts in the inning to keep Charlevoix on top. The Raiders also had a chance to open the flood gates. They had runners on first and second with one out, but an incredible run-saving catch by Grace Nardi got the second out, and the subsequent fly out ended the inning with no damage done. The Miners still trailed Charlevoix 3-1.
This inning was a defensive clinic by the two disciplined squads. Both teams went three up and three down to keep the game close at 3-1. Grace Nardi and Cooper Atkins made great catches for the Miners to stay in the game.
The Miners started off the sixth with a walk and the tying run at the plate with no outs, yet the Raiders’ defense would strand the runner in scoring position. The Miners needed a stop to stay within striking distance, and they accomplished that by retiring the first three hitters. Charlevoix led 3-1 and was three outs away from a regional title.
It was the last chance for the Miners to keep their season alive. However, Sandison would continue her dominance on the mound for Charlevoix by retiring the side herself, finishing with eleven strikeouts on the day, and leading her team to a regional championship. Nonetheless, it was an incredible season for the Miners.
Final: 3-1 Charlevoix