Norse Softball Team Gets Win Over Mid Michigan

Click the thumbnails to see photos and videos taken by Brad Landis, and for post-game comments from Izzy Drabant, Desiree Bender, and Sierra Jones.

There have been a lot of growing pains this spring for the Bay College Norse women's softball team, with a new coach taking over at the last minute and no time for recruiting. Then, there was a seven-game losing streak in South Carolina, followed by three weeks with no games at all. But the Norse, under new coach Teener Gosse, have kept the enthusiasm and haven't given up.

They won two games in Alpena on Tuesday, and after two rough losses to the Mid Michigan Lakers on Friday, the Norse got their biggest win of the season on Saturday, jumping off to a 9-0 lead and then cruising to an 11-4 win over a hard-hitting Lakers in the first game of a doubleheader at the Wells Sports Complex fields.


Mid Michigan smacked the Norse, 19-3 and 14-0 on Friday, but that win in Saturday's opener meant a lot to the girls who have kept battling through all of that adversity.


“One of our players texted our group chat (Friday night) and said, we're going to come to the field early tomorrow and we're going to have a team talk without Teener,” Norse winning pitcher Izzy Drabant said. “So, we went and had our team meeting. And I truly believe that's what it was. It feels good because we came in here and we knew that we needed at least one (win). We need to take one from them!”


Norse third baseman Desiree Bender was also excited after her team picked up a win on their home Opening Weekend under very cold and windy conditions. She had a three-run home run as part of an eight-run third inning that gave Bay the lead.


“Yesterday, I didn't hit so good,” Bender said. “I was kind of upset with myself. So, I feel like I needed that. And then also, I just used all that energy from that inning, and, yeah, it happened! Almost everyone got a hit that inning. I feel like a lot of times, we can get down on ourselves, but I liked to see us take the momentum and keep going and going with it. Especially against a team that we lost really bad to.”


Sierra Jones added an RBI double in that big eight-run third inning, and she ended up with another double in the fifth inning. She scored twice, and both doubles, with that icy wind blowing in, would have been home runs on a typical day on that field.


“Yesterday (Friday's mercy rule losses) was a very difficult day,” Jones said. “That was not much fun at all. But I'm proud of our team for coming back. We knew that we could do it. We knew that we have done this before (in Alpena and in Grand Rapids). We've been able put up runs, so we had confidence, and we came in today, and said, we're here for two games, we're going to stay here for the whole day, and we're going to a get a win. So, it was great.”


The Norse scored eight runs in the third inning, highlighted by the three-run home by Bender. Drabant ripped a two-run single during that rally, and Amara Martinez had an RBI single. In fact, Martiniez is an unsung hero in this game as she made five catches in center field, four of them with Laker runners on base.


“She took a lot of control today,” Jones said. “She got all sorts of balls, left and right, and that was really important, because yesterday, our outfield definitely struggled.”


Drabant pitched the whole way, giving up eleven hits and striking out just one batter. But she walked only two batters, and the defense made the plays as Mid Michigan stranded ten baseunners over the seven innings.


Mid Michigan's Addy Gray took the loss, giving up all eleven runs and 14 hits. Phoenix Shaw had three hits to lead the Laker offense.


In the second game, however, Mid Michigan got its revenge with a 13-run third inning that quickly ended the game on the mercy rule. The Lakers sent 17 batters to the plate that inning and pounded out a dozen hits against four Norse pitchers.


Averi Hall smoked a three-run homer to highlight that inning for Mid Michigan, Zoey Bacon added a two-run single and Alexis Mielke contributed an RBI single and two-run double in that same inning. That backed up the pitching of Heidi Nagel, who threw all five innings and allowed only three hits, striking out six batters and walking none (although she did hit Ava Mottin with a pitch twice).


Jones smoked a long solo home run in the fifth inning for Bay's only run. Emma Rutter started in the circle and took the loss for the Norse, giving up five runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings of work. Bender, Allie Radcliffe, and Draybant finished up.


On Friday, the Lakers dominated the Norse, 19-3 and 14-0. In the first game, Shaw had three hits and drove in five runs for the Lakers. In the nightcap, Alexis Mielke drove in four runs as the Lakers scored five runs in the first inning and pulled away late.


The Norse also had leaky defense in Friday's doubleheader, something the girls said they wanted to clean up for Saturday.


“We had a lot of (errors),” Bender said. “I had some. But we came in today with a mindset of better defense because we know they're going to hit the ball.”


Mid Michigan improved its record to 16-15 overall, 8-6 in MCCAA play. The Lakers are in third place in the conference standings behind leader Muskeon (15-1) and Grand Rapids (10-6). The top two teams make the region tournament.


For the Norse, they're just trying to get better, and finish out the season strong. Bay is now 4-17 overall and 4-10 in MCCAA play, in fifth place, ahead of last place Alpena.


Bay College will host fourth place Delta College out of Saginaw (7-21 overall, 6-8 MCAA) in a four-game series next weekend, with a chance to move up in the standings.

The Friday games at 2:00 and 4:00 will be broadcast live on the radio on FM-93.5 and AM-600 in Delta County, on AM-1450 on the Bay College Iron Mountain campus, and on-line at

LISTEN: Sierra Jones post-game comments
LISTEN: Izzy Drabant post-game comments
LISTEN: Desiree Bender post-game comments