Cloquet girls thump North Branch
Cloquet opened up the new softball season with a 7-2 thumping of North Branch last Saturday on the road. The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Jacks responded in the second when Jessica Baublitz knocked out a single followed by Billie...
Cloquet opened up the new softball season with a 7-2 thumping of North Branch last Saturday on the road.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Jacks responded in the second when Jessica Baublitz knocked out a single followed by Billie Diver ripping a double to put runners at second and third. Rachel Sanda followed Diver with a walk to load the bases and then Alyssa Hanson slap bunted from the left side to score both Diver and Baublitz when the third baseman couldn't handle the ball, giving Cloquet a 2-1 lead. However, the Vikings responded to tie the game in the bottom of the second.
In the fifth inning, Sadie Lundquist walked and then advanced to second on Leanne Gittings' single. Hanson bunted both Lundquist and Gittings up a base and then Baublitz followed with a double to the left center gap to make it 4-2 Cloquet.
Rachel Sanda walked to start a rally in the sixth inning and then stole second. That was followed by a Courtney Esse single to center putting runners at the corners. Lundquist followed with a hit to score Sanda making it 5-2 in favor of Cloquet after six innings.
In the top of the seventh Hanson walked to start the inning and then stole second base. Baublitz singled and she promptly stole second putting runners at second and third. Sanda followed with a base hit to score both Hanson and Baublitz giving the Jacks a 7-2 lead.
Both Sanda and Baublitz had two hits while both Lundquist and Gittings doubled in the game. Baublitz added two RBIs and a double.
Katrina Korman got the starting nod and gave up two unearned runs as the sophomore picked up where she left off last season.
- Tuesday night the Lumberjacks picked up an impressive 1-0 victory over arch-rival Duluth East at Braun Park.
"It was a very good win to get," said coach Sklors. "I was very pleased with the effort and the intensity the girls had for the entire game."
The game matched two of the area's best pitchers in Katrina Korman of Cloquet and Madison Armstrong from the Greyhounds.
Korman helped her own cause in the third inning when she knocked in the lone run. With two outs in the third inning, Sadie Lundquist ripped a liner to center for a hit. Leanne Gittings followed with a base hit to right field and then Korman topped off the trio of hits with a liner to right center allowing Lundquist to race home with the go-ahead run.
East nearly tied the score in the fifth inning when they managed to get runners on second and third with no outs, but a popped up bunt to Korman gave Cloquet one out. Then Korman got a hard grounder to first to Linda Tierney who made the play, and finally the Jacks ended the inning with a grounder to Sarah Williams at third who got the final out.
"Korman looked very good and she was much better than the first game," mentioned Sklors. "Katrina looked loose, confident and she hit her spots."
For the game Korman allowed just five hits, two walks and she struck out eight to gain her second victory in as many outings.
"I thought we hit the ball pretty well and I thought the girls were very composed and focused," Sklors stated. "The girls are improving every game and they are doing the little things correct and we are starting to eliminate our mistakes."
Cloquet is 2-0 on the season.
Pine Journal sports reporter Kerry Rodd can be contacted at: email@example.com .