Lumberjacks overcome Eskomos with five-run fourth inningTwo softball teams both trying to get their seasons on track collided on Monday at Braun Park in Cloquet – with the Lumberjacks exploding for five runs in the fourth inning to beat Esko 5-3.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
Two softball teams both trying to get their seasons on track collided on Monday at Braun Park in Cloquet – with the Lumberjacks exploding for five runs in the fourth inning to beat Esko 5-3.
Kelly Carlson’s bases-loaded double in that inning gave Chandler Beaupre all the runs she needed to win the game, in which she allowed two unearned runs and two hits while striking out three and walking five.
“We’re working with her (Beaupre) to get her ahead in the count and to trust her stuff,” Cloquet Coach Ron Tondryk said. “And, to trust her defense.”
“I thought it was a good ball game,” Esko Coach Brad Emanuel said. “Both teams played well. The difference between us was that Cloquet made a couple of defensive plays that held our runners from scoring and had some key at-bats. We had one dropped ball to get us out of that fourth inning, but they took advantage of it.”
Dalyce Gustafson had three hits in four trips to the plate for Cloquet, while Sammy Zeadow had two hits and Beaupre had a pair of safeties to help her own cause as well.
Ashley Bergeson had one of Esko’s hits and scored two runs, while Kiana Jablonski had the other.
On Tuesday, Cloquet improved its record to 3-2 after a slow start to the season by beating Hibbing 3-2 in nine innings.
Zeadow’s single and Beaupre’s double in the second inning gave Cloquet an early lead but Hibbing erased that advantage with an unearned run in the third and a string of singles in the fourth for a 2-1 advantage.
Zeadow tied the game in the sixth, scoring Katrina Smith on a single to right, and the game remained tied until the ninth inning. Then, Breanne Baker doubled to right center and after a walk to Kayla Massessa, Kelly Carlson’s bunt single loaded the bases. Shania Paulson then grounded to first and Baker beat the throw to the plate for the winning run.
Beaupre scattered 10 hits and walked three while striking out five to get the win.
“Our losses have been due to unearned runs,” Tondryk said. “I scratch my head a little bit, because you can have those games, but it’s becoming a pattern. I’m not too worried about it, but you kind of wonder what’s going on sometimes.”
Meanwhile, the Eskomos improved to 5-3 on Tuesday with a 12-0, five-inning win over Cook County.
Abbey Saralampi pitched the first four innings, with Jablonski finishing up. Both pitchers are sophomores and Emanuel is excited about the future for his young team.
The team has seven sophomores and two middle school players, with six of those players as starters.
“It’s our third year for the sophomores starting at varsity level,” Emanuel said. “As a coaching staff we can now do things like teach them how to plan your at-bat instead of just going up there to hit the ball.”
Both teams have big weeks coming up.
Cloquet will play six games this week including a tournament this weekend at Tartan, while Esko will play Duluth East on Thursday and Hermantown on Friday.
“It’s a tough week for us,” Emanuel said. “We’re going to see what we’re made out of these next two games.”