Negaunee, MI – May 7th, 2019 – The Negaunee Miners Girls Softball team returned to action on Tuesday afternoon, where they hosted the Calumet Copper Kings! Mark Evans and Gregg Nelson had the call from LaCombe Field on Fox Sports Marquette 105.1 and 99.9FM.
The Copper Kings took the field to begin the doubleheader, and pitcher Elli Djerf mowed the Miners down. Negaunee would only get one runner to first base off of an infield single for the inning. Calumet would strike in the bottom half of the first inning, when Vera Peterson got a hold of one down the right field line, scoring Djerf from second to make the score 1-0. Miners pitcher Skylar Hall responded by ousting the next two Calumet hitters, and the Copper Kings led by a single run after one inning of play.
Payton Drew got to first base off of a walk as the lead-off hitter for the Miners in the top of the second inning. However, the Copper Kings threw out Drew at first for a double play off of a Cassidy Orr pop-out. Djerf threw another impressive inning for Calumet, and their lead stayed at one run. Hall struck out the first two Copper King batter to begin the bottom of the second inning for Negaunee, her third and fourth strikeouts of the game. Calumet couldn’t get anything going in their half, however they still held a 1-0 advantage after two complete innings.
The Miners came out strong in the top half of the third, as Chloe Williams and MacKenzie Karki both singled. Negaunee had runners on second and third with two outs in the inning, and a wild pitch by Djerf got by past catcher Megan Peterson, and Williams crossed home plate to tie the game at 1-1. Hannah Voskuhl would fly out to center-field for the third out, and the game stayed tied. Calumet came out swinging in the bottom half of the third inning, trying to take back the lead. Djerf once again hit a double, she started off the threat for the Copper Kings. After a sacrifice bunt to get Djerf to third base, Peterson hit another shot that floated over the left-fielder Shaylee Menhennick’s head for her second RBI of the game, scoring Djerf to give Calumet a 2-1 lead. Djerf and Hall were throwing impressive outings for each team, and this low-scoring game is what ensued. After a quick fourth inning, the Copper Kings lead remained at 2-1.
The Miners’ first two batters got on base after consecutive errors, and Karki placed down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with only one out. Mykenna Kontio scored a run with another sacrifice to tie the game at 2-2. Voskuhl came up next for the Miners and hit a shot in the gap that would score the runner from third base, and the Miners took their first lead of the game. Negaunee led 3-2 after four and a half innings.
Calumet couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the fifth, and the Miners capitalized. Payton Drew led off the inning for Negaunee with a base hit, and advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice. Abby Nelson was up next for the Miners, and her base hit scored Drew to extend the Miners’ lead to 4-2 in the top half of the sixth inning. Calumet contained what could’ve been a disastrous inning, and only trailed by two heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Peterson reached the base paths for the third consecutive time for Calumet, as they had a runner on base with one out. The Copper Kings then hit a hard shot off of the fence for a double that was inches from being a home run. With runners on second and third, and falling behind with a 3-0 count, Hall responded by striking out Emma Perrala for out number two. Voskuhl went on to make a good play at shortstop for the third out, the Miners survived the Calumet scoring threat and took a 4-2 lead into the seventh and final inning.
Karki reached first base for the Miners, and Kontio drove her home with a double to make the score 5-2. Negaunee began to solve Djerf’s pitching, as they were getting more and more solid hits as the game went on. After advancing the runners off of a fielder’s choice, a wild pitch by Djerf scored another Miner, making the score 6-2. Calumet had its final chance in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Hall closed the deal for the Miners. The Negaunee Miners were down early, but they rallied to take a 6-2 win over Calumet in the first game of the doubleheader.