Cloquet does the unthinkable, grounds HawksThe last time Hermantown was knocked out of the Section 7AA high school softball playoffs, computer geeks were warning the public about Y2K, an impeached U.S. president recently had avoided being removed from office and people were partying like it was 1999.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The last time Hermantown was knocked out of the Section 7AA high school softball playoffs, computer geeks were warning the public about Y2K, an impeached U.S. president recently had avoided being removed from office and people were partying like it was 1999.
Well, that’s because it was 1999.
Cloquet was in a celebratory mood Friday, too, after defeating third-ranked Hermantown 2-1 in the single-elimination quarterfinals at Cohasset.
Sophomore Chandler Beaupre tossed a four-hitter, and the Lumberjacks (11-9) scored both runs during a single play in the top of the seventh inning.
Trailing 1-0, Cloquet’s Dalyce Gustafson singled and moved up a base on Shania Paulson’s first sacrifice bunt of the season. Lizz Jezierski singled, though Gustafson held at second. Senior Alyssa Michaelson followed with a pop out in foul territory to first baseman Jo Carlson. Gustafson tagged up and ran to third, risking the final out of the game, but the ball deflected off a Hawks glove and Gustafson scored to tie the game. On the ensuing throw to the plate, the ball glanced away and Jezierski came around from first to slide in with the winning run.
“We told (Gustafson), ‘Put this game on your shoulder and take us as far as you can,’” Cloquet coach Ron Tondryk said of the Minnesota Duluth recruit. “It was great heads-up baserunning by her. She hit the dirt and we were fortunate to get the ball to carom off a glove.”
Hermantown (15-4), which loaded the bases in the first without scoring and didn’t score until Celine Francisco drove in her sister, Macy, with a single in the sixth, was unable to respond in the bottom of the seventh.
Beaupre and the Lumberjacks’ defense made sure of that.
“She’s been getting better every game,” Tondryk said. “She kept the ball down and pitched a really good game. In games like this, you have to get good pitching and play good defense.”
Hermantown’s Katie Thun threw a no-hitter until the sixth and ended with a three-hitter and 12 strikeouts.
The Hawks had won 10 consecutive 7AA titles in which they competed (the school participated in Class AAA in 2006-07).