South sweeps North at Upper Peninsula Senior All-Star softball doubleheader

Norway’s Jordan Kraemer readies to make a catch on Wednesday for the South team during the Upper Peninsula All-Star softball game at Gladstone. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Avery Bundgaard)

GLADSTONE — The South team swept the North 8-7 and 14-4 in an Upper Peninsula Senior Softball All-Star doubleheader Wednesday at Gladstone High School.

It was a great day to play softball, especially a game where the players and coaches could relax and have fun.

“It’s a blast,” said Norway’s Bob Bal, who coached for the South. “The seniors have one last chance to get together. The thing is there’s no pressure. The girls want to compete and that’s what makes it fun.”

The North came up short, but coach Paul Seibert of Marquette Senior High School said it was more about being able to play ball and watch some great softball.

“From a coach’s standpoint you don’t do much coaching. You just let the players play,” he said. “It’s kind of fun and you get to coach kids you’ve been coaching against for years and it’s nice to get to know them from a different perspective.”

In the opener, the North got the scoring started with two runs in the first inning but the South pulled ahead in the third with four runs of its own.

The South padded its lead with two more in the fourth with RBIs from Escanaba’s Jerrika McAlpine and Taylor Segorski to go up 6-2.

The North scored five times in the fifth to retake the lead, but the South went ahead one last time with some clutch hitting in the seventh inning for the win.

Norway’s Britta Grayvold hit an RBI single to tie it 7-7 and later scored when she got caught in a pickle for the winning run.

“Britta stole home in the last inning and that was a good play,” Bal said. “She baited her into the throw and then she went home and that is how you get your winning run.”

Escanaba’s Katie Ross pitched the entire game for the South giving up six hits and had nine strikeouts and two walks.

In the second game, the South started fast.

The North had a chance to take a first-inning lead, loading the bases with no outs. After a force out at the plate, South pitcher Rhiley Hubert of Rapid River struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unscathed.

Hubert pitched all six innings allowing five hits while striking out five and walking four.

The North got on the board in the fourth inning when it scored three runs started by an RBI single from Gladstone’s Tasi Martinez.

“The girls stuck with it,” Seibert said. “They’re all good hitters so eventually they’re going to figure it out.”