MARQUETTE - Negaunee staved off elimination for the third straight day on Tuesday and pulled within one victory of capturing the Little League District 11 Minors softball championship.
Negaunee scored a 13-3 victory in four innings to hand Baraga its first loss of the tourney and force the "if necessary" game in this double elimination tournament to be played at 6:30 p.m. today at Lions Field in Marquette Township.
The winners led just 5-3 in the middle of the second inning before scoring eight unanswered runs to invoke the 10-run mercy rule with two outs in the fourth inning.
Pitcher Larissa Anderson went all four innings for Negaunee, allowing just one hit while striking out nine and walking seven. That hit was a double by Baraga's Maija Rice as she also picked up her team's only RBI. Teammate Kailyn Voskuhl stole two bases in three attempts.
Anderson aided her cause with a hit, an RBI, run scored and stolen base. Teammate Karlie Patron, the pitching star of the past two games after striking out 17 of the 18 batters she faced, went 2 for 3 at the plate while knocking in two runs.
Negaunee collected six hits with others by Katelyn Lammi, Shaylee Menhennick and Morgan Carlson.
Voskuhl started and went 2 innings, allowing 11 runs on five hits and eight walks while fanning two. Rice went an inning, giving up the final two runs on one hit, no walks and one strikeout.