EVELETH — Eveleth-Gilbert and Greenway battled back and forth all night long and neither team could break open the game for good.
The 18U softball squads were tied three separate times — including 9-9 at the end when the game was called after five innings due to a 90-minute time limit.
“They were up for it,’’ said head coach Boyd Carlblom of his team. “It’s just a good bunch. They battle back.’’
The Golden Bears were down much of the night. The home team trailed 3-0 in the top of the first inning before tying it up at 3-3 when they got their chance to bat.
They fell behind again at 5-3 in the second and again tied the contest in the bottom half of the frame.
The teams remained tied until the fifth inning when Greenway grabbed a 9-5 advantage, which put all the pressure on E-G. The girls responded with four of their own on RBI doubles by Audrey Delich and Avery Dolinsek, a run-scoring bloop single and a Greenway error. Despite the valiant comeback, the game ended at 9-9 with one Golden Bear on second base.
The game brought back memories of the team’s tournament in Bemidji a couple of weeks ago.
“Every game we won over in Bemidji, we had to come from behind. We were never ahead in any of the games. So they’ve been coming back and that’s a real good sign of a good team,’’ Carlblom said.
Greenway got off to a hot start with an Abby Gustason RBI single and a Claire Vekich homer to put the visitors up 3-0 in the top half of the first.
E-G responded with a single by Carly George, who made her way to third before a walk to Audrey Delich. With Dolinsek at the plate, the Bears got their first run on a double steal with Delich going to second and George stealing home.
Dolinsek eventually earned a walk and advanced to second before Brooke Thyen was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases. Lauren Lautigar then came through with a bloop single past second base to score both E-G baserunners for a 3-3 tie.
Greenway added two more in the second, though, as Jadin Saville hit a leadoff triple, Lindsey Tulla got hit by a pitch and Jocelyn Maki’s grounder scored one. The Raiders scored again on the same play on an errant E-G throw to first base.
The Bears didn’t let the miscue get them down as Maggie Koskela, Audrey Delich and Afton Roberts each drew walks to load the bases. Lydia Delich proceeded to smack a ground single into left field, to score two and tie the game at 5-5.
The contest remained at 5-5 until Miranda Gernander and Gustason each hit singles, which also allowed one run to score on an error. Vekich followed that up with an RBI single to make it 5-7. Saville again stepped up in the fifth with a two-RBI single for a 9-5 advantage.
E-G made its final rally as George connected for a single and Audrey Delich’s RBI double made it 9-6. Dolinsek quickly added an RBI double to make it 9-7 and Roberts’ blooper to right brought the Bears to within one a 9-8. Two batters later, Thyen reached on an error on her grounder, which also allowed the final E-G runner to score for a 9-9 tie. The Bears had one final chance but came up empty with a base runner on second.
Lydia Delich pitched a complete game for E-G and Saville went the distance for Greenway.
In the second game of the doubleheader, E-G held a 6-2 lead in the sixth before Greenway rallied for the 7-6 victory.
The Golden Bears scored four in the third and added two more in the fourth, but they could not hold the lead. E-G even had a scoring chance in the sixth with girls at first and second, but Lydia Delich’s line shot went straight to the center fielder.
Lydia Delich ended the game with two hits, as did Cadyn Krmpotich. Audrey Delich, Avery Dolinsek, Afton Roberts, Brooke Thyen and Maggie Koskela each added a base knock. Carly George took the loss on the mound.
E-G plays in a mini-tournament next Monday at Greenway or Grand Rapids, starting at 5:15 p.m. The match ups have yet to be determined. Each team plays two games.
BABE RUTH BASEBALL
Hibbing II 6, Virginia 2
At Virginia, Hibbing II broke open a close game in the seventh to win, 6-2 over Virginia’s Babe Ruth squad Monday at Stock Field.
The game was tied 2-2 going into the seventh, but Hibbing pulled out the win by drawing a walk, hitting a bleeder that got through the defense and adding a double and a triple in the top of the frame.
At the dish for the home team, John Kendall went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two steals, Dylan Hedley went 1-for-3 and James Toman collected an RBI and had a stolen base. Kendall took the loss after going all seven innings. He gave up six runs on five hits, fanned 10 and walked five.
Virginia plays at Greenway at 5 p.m. Wednesday.