Norway rallies to upend Esky

Justin St. Ours | Daily Press Escanaba’s Janessa Platt slides safely into home plate as Norway’s Jolie Seidel (left) and Anna DeBridart (back) wait for the ball Monday during a Minor Girls’ All-Star district tournament game at Escanaba.

ESCANABA — After a raucous day Sunday, the Escanaba Minor All-Star softball team (age 8-10) fell to Norway 3-2 here Monday.

The loss pits Escanaba in an elimination game tonight against Kingsford at 7 p.m. EST, with the winner advancing to the championship game to play Norway Wednesday at 7.

Norway took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning thanks to Anna DeBidart scoring on a throwing error.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth when Escanaba answered back.

“We responded well, and we knew we weren’t out of it,” Escanaba manager Justin Jacobsen said. “We started coming back and hitting the ball. We were just one base hit away from tying it or taking the lead, and we got aggressive on the bases and ended up scoring two.”

After Landry Bray drew a walk, she advanced to second and third on passed balls. Next, Janessa Platt singled on a fly ball to score Bray and tie the game at 1.

“Janessa Platt had a great game,” Jacobsen said. “She had a real nice hit that helped us out and picked us up. She hit the ball well, and I’m very proud of her.”

Platt made it to second and third on errors and scored on a passed ball to give Escanaba the lead.

“When we were down, I didn’t really have to tell them anything,” Norway manager Jeff Gilroy said. “I didn’t see anyone really being down on themselves. They were still in the game, so I really didn’t have to tell them too much. We just kept batting and kept swinging to put some pressure on Escanaba.”

With its last opportunity, Norway took the game back in the top of the sixth. Jessa Rossler was hit by a pitch, and Jolie Seidel smashed a line drive to the left field fence to score Rossler and herself to give Norway the win.

“Jolie Seidel (really stood out to me),” Gilroy said. “She had the (inside-the-park) home run. She’s our ace, and she’s our leader. Everybody played their position well. We only had a few mistakes, so we just have to clean those up.”

Breleigh Reinhart took the complete game loss for Escanaba, while Seidel earned the complete game win for Norway.

“We went against a really good pitcher,” Jacobsen said. “She was humming the ball really good. She was throwing strikes really well. We just had to get our timing down on that. It was totally different from (the game against Kingsford).”

Jacobsen expects his team to bounce back tonight.

“Tomorrow, as long as we keep our bats going and stay focused on tomorrow instead of what happened today, I think we’ll be fine,” Jacobsen said.

“As long as the girls come out swinging the bats, I think we’ll be all right. Hopefully, the girls will respond the way they should, which they know how to do. These girls have been there before, so we’re just hoping tomorrow’s better.”

Gilroy hopes the tournament finishes competitively.

“I think it’s going to be close,” he said. “It’s going to be a one-run game, hopefully. That’s the most I could ask for is one-run games all the way through. Whether we come out on top or whether they come out on top, I hope it’s a nice clean-played game. I hope for the best.”