Eskymos and Braves are no strangers to state semifinals
ESCANABA — Both the Escanaba and Gladstone softball teams are returning to the state semifinals for the second year in a row.
Esky (33-4) will compete in the division-2 semifinal at Michigan State University in East Lansing today at 10 a.m. against the Richmond Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils defeated the Eskymos in last year’s division-2 state semifinals 6-2 en route to the title.
Esky beat Saginaw Swan Valley 5-0 Tuesday to advance to today’s semifinal game.
The Eskymos also beat the Vikings last year in the division-2 state quarterfinals.
The only other two times the Eskymos made it to the state semifinals were in 2003 when they defeated Farmington Hills Mercy 2-1 and in 2001 when they lossed to Portage Northern 3-1.
Esky went on to lose to Brighton 3-0 in the division-2 state championship game in 2003.
Gladstone will be heading back to the division-3 state semifinal game Friday as it takes on Napoleon at MSU in East Lansing.
The Braves beat Grandville Calvin Christian 2-1 Tuesday to advance to the state semifinal game.
The Braves are no strangers to the state semifinals as they have played in nine of those games in the past 14 years where they have a 4-6 record in those games.
Gladstone lost to Monroe St. Mary Catholic 13-0 in last year’s state semifinal game.
The Braves have won three state titles since 2004.
Its most recent title came in 2014 when they beat Unionville-Sebewaing 2-1.
Gladstone’s other state titles came in 2004 when it beat Niles Brandywine 2-1 and 2009 when it defeated Reese 1-0.
If both Esky and Gladstone win its state semifinal matchups then both teams will play Saturday in the state championship game of its respective division.