BESSEMER — The Penokee Range All-Stars lost a heartbreaker, 6-5, to Negaunee Sunday during the District 11 ages 11-12 Little League softball tournament.
Penokee plays Portage Lake tonight at 5:30 p.m. here. The loser is eliminated from the tournament, but the winner advances to play Negaunee in a championship game Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Negaunee can take the tourney with one win, but its opponent needs to beat Negaunee twice in the double-elimination event. The second game would be Wednesday.
Penokee Range is made up of kids from Ironwood, Hurley, Bessemer and Wakefield.
Negaunee led 5-2 in the early goings Sunday, but Penokee Range fought all the way back to tie the game at 5-5 in the sixth inning. Penokee’s potential go-ahead run, Mackenzie McCorkle, was thrown out at the plate in a very close play in the top of the sixth.
Negaunee’s hit with two outs and two on base scored the game winner in the bottom of the sixth.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Penokee manager Amanda Niemi said. “What a game. Very proud of my girls.”
Hanna Koivisto took the loss for Penokee. She struck out two, walked three and allowed six hits.
“Hanna pitched one heck of a game and they all played well,” Niemi said. “Just need to swing the bat some more (today). One day at a time. We will face Portage Lake and then we hope to be seeing them (Negaunee) again on Tuesday.”
McCorkle went 4 for 4 on her birthday for Penokee. Martina Anderson was 2 for 2.
Malorie Munson picked up the win for Negaunee. She had 14 strikeouts with four walks and seven hits allowed.
Penokee started the weekend with a 15-4 win over Baraga County Saturday. Haley Halvorsen was 4 for 4 for Penokee. Megan Peterson picked up the win. She had five strikeouts and she allowed nine walks and three hits.
Negaunee beat Portage Lake 6-3 in Saturday’s other opening-round game.
In Sunday’s losers bracket matchup, Portage Lake stayed alive with a 19-6 victory over Baraga County.