RAPID RIVER - It turned out to be a long afternoon in Rapid River on Monday, as the Negaunee Miners softball team took the Rapid River Rockets to nine innings to pull out a 2-1 victory and split the doubleheader at a game apiece.
The Rockets took the first game 5-2, but neither team was able to get the bats going in the second contest.
Averi Kanyuh, the lead-off batter for Rapid River, scored a run in the first inning and it remained a 1-0 game until Negaunee was finally able to get some hits in the bottom of the sixth to tie it up.
Negaunee’s Adena Anderson pitches during the second game of their doubleheader against Rapid River on Monday in Rapid River. Anderson had 11 strikeouts and led the Miners to the 2-1 victory. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Justin Marietti)
"Our defense has been spectacular," said Rockets coach George Kanyuh. "We've had some really nice plays and they're getting things done, but we need more hits. It's been a struggle."
Adena Anderson, who pitched the entire second game for the Miners, ripped a base hit into the outfield to get things going in the sixth. She was followed by Nicole Violetta, who converted a sacrifice bunt to advance Anderson. She had made her way to third when Ashley Anderson got a base hit to send the run home.
Part of the hitting struggles for Rapid River (2-3) was the result of Adena Anderson being on the mound. She racked up 11 strikeouts from start to finish, and also managed to come up with a big hit when her team needed it most.
"She pitched a heck of a game for us," said Miners coach John Anderson. "She stayed out there for all nine innings for us. I kept asking her if she was tired, especially after finishing the first game for us, and she just said no. She wanted to keep going. Not only that, but she got the hit that got us going."
Things heated up in the bottom of the eighth when Rapid River loaded the bases with two outs. Lydia Froberg got a hit and Neena Brockway ran home, but was called out after the play at the plate, and the side was retired.
Negaunee found itself in a similar situation to start the ninth inning.
Amanda Washnock smashed a line-drive double over the head of the center fielder and the Miners had runners on second and third base. The next pitch from Brockway went over the catcher's head and the runner tried to score, but the ball was quickly relayed to Brockway who made the tag to keep the score 1-1.
The Miners had two outs when a hit tore up the third base line. There was some uncertainty as to whether or not it was a foul ball, but while the confusion ensued, Washnock made her way home for the go-ahead run. The umpires met after the play concluded and decided it was indeed a fair ball.
"If that ball gets called foul, we're still playing right now," Kanyuh said.
Rapid River had a shot in the bottom of the ninth, but came up just short. The bases were loaded with two outs, and Kendall Miller was facing a full count. She got a piece of it, but it turned out to be a pop fly that was easily caught to end the inning and the game.
"Rapid River always has very good teams and it's always nice to pull out a win down here," Anderson said.
Savannah Stenlund got the victory for the Rockets in game one, pitching the entire contest.