By Dan Hardenbrook
It’s championship week on the diamond as both the Newberry Varsity Baseball and Softball teams prepare for District Tournament play. Every team gets in, but only a few advance through the opening weekend of the MHSAA’s State Tournaments.
The journey begins for the baseball team in Gladstone and the ladies will travel to Rapid River. The MHSAA Semifinals and Finals will again be held at MSU the weekend of June 17.
The Lady Indians Softball team will take on the host Rapid River Rockets in the Division 4 District 100 Tournament. All games will be held Friday with the contest between Newberry and Rapid River coming at noon. Munising will play Superior Central in the opening semifinal at 10 a.m. and the two winners will meet for the title in the Championship Round at 2 p.m. The District 100 Champion will advance to the MHSAA Regional round at Bark River Harris on June 10.
On the baseball side, the Indians are up one division, slotted in Division 3 due to their co-op program with Engadine. That means the all-too familiar trip west to Gladstone, where the host Braves will remain heavy favorites on their home field.
Gladstone mercied the Indians in last year’s District championship game 15-0 in three innings after Newberry upset Class B Menominee in the opening game to reach the finals.
The Indians have a better shot this time around, and their more experienced lineup could help them pull off the ultimate upset.
Manistique has been added to the field of five teams, meaning two must play early in the week to advance to the semifinals on Friday. The two big schools got matched up—Gladstone and Menominee—meaning the field could be wider open by the time the weekend rolls around.
The winner of Gladstone and Menominee will meet Manistique in the first semifinal on Friday at 1 p.m. The Indians drew Superior Central and take on the Cougars in the other semifinal at 3 p.m.
The Division 3 District 66 Championship is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday, with the winner returning to Gladstone for Regional play the following weekend.