A perfect swing into spring

MARQUETTE – With a 2-2 count, two runners on base and her team trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Karlee Huuki didn’t want to be the third out.

“I just tried to battle and get on base,” the Marquette Senior High School senior said Saturday.

Mission accomplished.

Huuki hit a pop fly into left field that found a hole in the Negaunee defense to drive in two runs and open a floodgate that led to a 6-1 Marquette softball victory during the MSHS Spring Swing Tournament at the Superior Dome.

“I thought (the Miners) were going to catch it,” Huuki said of her clutch single. “That’s usually what happens when you hit a pop-up.”

Teammate Hannah Johnson followed one batter later with a two-run triple to right-center, then Morgan Seibert hit a ground-rule double to center for another run

Courtney Finkbeiner ended the Redettes’ surge with a run-scoring single up the middle with her second hit of the game.

“We needed a break,” MSHS manager Paul Seibert said of Huuki’s hit. “We needed something positive to happen.

“Once we got up 2-1, I think the girls exhaled and relaxed a little. It was nice to come back. Negaunee’s a good team.”

Until the decisive fifth frame, Negaunee pitcher Rosalie Anderson held the Redettes’ batters at bay. She allowed just two hits while striking out four.

“I’m not sure what she was throwing, but she kept us off balance,” Seibert said. “We were flat early, but Rosalie had a lot to do with that. I kept telling the girls to be patient.”

Negaunee manager John Anderson, whose team opened its season with an 8-2 victory over Ironwood in Saturday’s first tourney game, said Anderson did a “great job.”

“She was moving the ball around, changed speeds and just kept Marquette off balance,” he said.

“It’s tough. It was the type of game we wanted to be in – low scoring. We were up 1-0 with two outs and then they hit a ball (by Huuki) we should have gotten to.”

Lauren Anderson gave the Miners a 1-0 lead in the third with an RBI-single to right after teammate Taylor Ring had singled and stolen second.

“(The win) shows we’re hard-workers who can fight back and don’t give up.” Huuki said of the MSHS comeback. “This was a big win and will give us some confidence.”

Morgan Seibert – the Marquette coach’s daughter – took the mound triumph in relief of Senja Liimatta. Seibert allowed two hits, a walk and fanned four in her three scoreless innings.

Rosalie Anderson went the distance for the Miners. She gave up six hits and three walks while striking out five.

“My girls are a determined bunch,” Paul Seibert said. “We’ve won two different ways. We held on Friday (to beat Escanaba, 3-2) and came back today.”

The Redettes wrapped up the 2013 Spring Swing with a 5-4 victory over Gladstone in their third and final game of the weekend to finish 3-0.

MSHS rallied from a 4-0 deficit via a two-run home run by Whitney LaFave in the fourth inning and three more runs in the top of the fifth.

LaFave and Courtney LaFreniere each finished 2-for-3 at the plate against Gladstone, while Morgan Siebert earned the win on the mound after giving up and walk and hit, but no runs, in two innings of relief work. She struck out three Braves.

According to Paul Siebert, it was Marquette’s first win in about 15 games against Gladstone.

Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is cremsburg@miningjournal.net