Throwback Thursday: Rogers City Captures 1st State Championship

MISportsNow’s Throwback Thursday is looking back at northern Michigan’s greatest games, from buzzer beaters to state finals. This marks the sixth in the biweekly series.

EAST LANSING – After a pair of runner-up finishes, Rogers City finally broke through and captured its first MHSAA Division 4 state championship with a 3-2 win over Kalamazoo Christian in the 2014 state title game at Michigan State.

With a Division 3 (2001) and Division 4 (2004) runner-up finish to its credit, Rogers City knocked off the defending state champion after a middle-inning rally.

“Today we knew it was anybody’s game and we’re just happy to get this win,” Rogers City coach Karl Grambau said after the win. “It just means so much for our program and for our girls and maybe we can start a tradition over here at MSU, they did a great job hosting this tournament, what a fantastic facility, we had a ball.”

Trailing 1-0 through two innings, Sarah Meredith delivered an RBI single to left field to send Logan Fleming home and tie the game at 1-1.

Alexa Quine’s RBI double in the top of the fifth put the Hurons ahead 2-1. Morgan Hall would come through in the seventh with another RBI double, scoring Meredith and giving Rogers City a 3-1 cushion.

Hall and Courtney Streich went 2-for-4 at the plate in the win, while Quaine was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.

Nicole Radke allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three over seven innings of work.

“I can’t even explain the experience right now, it’s amazing,” Radke said. “It’s been my goal forever, and to come in and win it my senior year is awesome.”

Kara Gjelema, Rebekah VanDame and Erica Block all went 1-for-3 at the plate to lead Kalamazoo Christian (28-17).

Rogers City reached the state final with an 11-1 win over Fowler in a state semifinal. Along their postseason road, the Hurons posted wins over Posen (10-2), Hillman (10-0), Rapid River (3-2), Norway (16-4) and Central Lake (4-1).

The title game capped off a 34-6 campaign for Rogers City, which hasn’t gotten past the quarterfinal round since winning the championship. North Star League foe Hillman reached the Division 4 state semifinals in 2015, while Inland Lakes finished runner-up in 2016 and won its first championship in 2017.


Categories: Softball