Cloquet softball team struggles for winsThe struggling Cloquet girls softball team has been fighting to find a way to win a tight game this season. Monday night, the Jacks broke through with a 1-0 victory in the first game of a double header against a very good Superior ball club.
By: Kerry Rodd, Pine Journal
The struggling Cloquet girls softball team has been fighting to find a way to win a tight game this season. Monday night, the Jacks broke through with a 1-0 victory in the first game of a double header against a very good Superior ball club. The Spartans bounced back to win the second game 5-0.
“We had lost a 2-1 game against Grand Rapids on Monday night where they scored both runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and that was really tough,” said Cloquet coach Steph Sklors. “Our pitcher, Katrina Korman, came out and was extremely focused and good against Superior.”
Korman, for the most part, completely shut down a good-hitting Superior team for most of the game and ended up striking out 13. Meanwhile, Korman helped her own cause in the top of the seventh inning by getting a base hit. Korman was lifted for a pinch runner, Kelly Carlson, and then Dalyce Gustafson pounded a gap-shot double that allowed Carlson to circle the bases for the go-ahead run.
“Katrina was very well composed on the mound and then she came up with the big hit,” explained Sklors. “We got in some trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning, so I went out and tried to get everyone refocused. We didn’t want the same thing to happen like it did the night before in Grand Rapids.”
Leading 1-0 and facing a bases-loaded situation, the Jacks and Korman slammed the door in grabbing a game one win at Braun Park.
Game two saw Cloquet sophomore Rachel Smith baffle the Spartans for most of her six-inning stint, but eventually the big bats came alive as Superior rallied to take game two by a 5-0 score.
“Rachel did a nice job against a good team,” commented Sklors. “Her drop ball was working, but they finally got their bats going.”
• Monday night, the Jacks fell to Grand Rapids 2-1 in a game Cloquet led 1-0 entering the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when Gustafson doubled and Liz Jezierski singled to score Dalyce,” recalled Sklors. “It was a very tough game to lose.”
The Thunderhawks managed to put themselves in a position to win in the final inning by positioning runners at second and third. With two outs Bailey Rasmussen hit a sharp grounder that deflected off an infielder’s glove into right field to score the runners and win the game.
“Katrina pitched very well and hit her spots,” mentioned Sklors. “We need her to be good in the final weeks here and she is really starting to peak as a pitcher right now.”
The Jacks have also gotten a solid contribution in the lineup from Courtney Esse who had a hit every game this season leading into the Superior doubleheader. Additionally, both Gustafson and Jezierski, a pair of eighth-graders, had two hits each against Katie McBride of Grand Rapids.
Korman gave up just four hits against Grand Rapids and fanned nine, while McBride gave up six hits while striking out seven.
Cloquet is 3-6 on the season.More from around the web