Esko softball team trumps Cloquet
The clash of local rivals Esko and Cloquet is always an intense affair on the softball field. On Monday night the Eskomos looked to one of the area's best players, Sami Mattson, to jump start their offense on the way to a 5-1 win over the Jacks a...
The clash of local rivals Esko and Cloquet is always an intense affair on the softball field. On Monday night the Eskomos looked to one of the area's best players, Sami Mattson, to jump start their offense on the way to a 5-1 win over the Jacks at Braun Park in Cloquet.
"One kid took over the game and lit the fire for us," explained Esko coach Brad Emanuel of Mattson. "Up until Sami started the fireworks it was a pitchers dual."
Kayla Jenkins of Esko and Katrina Korman of Cloquet hooked up through the first three innings in what was a scoreless game. However, following a Korman walk of Lacey Joslin in the fourth inning, Mattson drilled a low pitch out of the park and to dead center field to give the Eskomos a 2-0 lead.
"I knew it was out right away," Mattson said after the game. "Alyssa (Hanson), Cloquet's center fielder, didn't move so I knew it was gone."
While Mattson was providing the offense a spark, it was Jenkins and catcher Stacie Miller who methodically worked their way through the Jacks line up getting out after out with the exception of Cloquet catcher Leanne Gittings.
"We tried to stay low on both Sadie (Lundquist) and Lee (Gittings)," commented Jenkins following the game. "We knew they can go out of the park, so we tried to stay down with the pitches."
The game turned heavily in favor of the Eskomos in the bottom of the sixth when they plated three runs on two errors, a walk and one hit.
"Hitting is contagious and once we got something going it started to roll for us," Emanuel remarked. "We wanted to put some pressure on them and it worked out."
The Eskomos' sixth-inning runs were scored by Erin Emanuel, Stacie Miller and Shauna McClain. It was Miller who drilled a triple in the right field corner who came up with the lone hit of the inning.
Gittings tried her best to lead Cloquet back into the fight when she hit a long drive over the head of Lacey Joslin in right center field that ended with Gittings sliding into third with a triple.
"I was worried about her because she is an awesome player," explained Jenkins of Gittings. "We played together before and I wouldn't expect anything else of her."
Gittings had the Jacks' only two hits of the game.
"Esko just came ready to play and I thought we came out a bit flat," said Cloquet coach Steph Sklors. "Sami Mattson is a great player and she made us pay. And, I thought Jenkins changed speeds and used her change up very well."
Esko improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.
- On Saturday, the Eskomos downed St. Cloud Cathedral 4-0 with Jenkins picking up seven strikeouts, walking one and giving up just one hit.
Erin Emanuel led the hitting attack with two hits while Amber Jubie doubled and Lacey Joslin and Stacie Miller each recorded hits in the win.
"We played the game without Sami Mattson who was playing in the girls All-Star basketball game," commented Emanuel. "I was happy with the effort of all the girls and Kayla pitched well for us again."
- Last Thursday, the Eskomos dispatched McGregor 19-0 in five innings to gain a Polar League win as Jenkins and Kelsey Saralampi combined to throw a no-hitter.
Jenkins threw three innings and struck out five without giving up a hit, while Saralampi pitched two innings and struck out all six batters she faced.
Joslin, Mattson and McClain all doubled in the game.
Pine Journal sports reporter Kerry Rodd can be contacted at: email@example.com .