The Cloquet softball team finally had a nice day to get outdoors - and used it to good effect in a 9-2 thrashing of Duluth East on Tuesday, April 23. This followed the season-opening 10-5 win over Esko on Thursday, April 18.
The Lumberjacks (2-0) started slowly against the Greyhounds, not scoring until the third inning before breaking through with a single run in the third and two more in the fourth.
After that, the floodgates opened, and a speedy, explosive Cloquet team made short work of the Greyhounds (0-4).
Lucy Sinkkonen pitched a complete game for Cloquet, scattering six hits, striking out five and walking three.
"It was good for us to get out on the dirt and play," coach Ron Tondryk said. "The kids were really itching to get out there and we played a pretty good ballgame."
Tondryk would have liked to see his team get out in front earlier, but was happy to see the offense get into high gear eventually.
"We like playing with the lead," he said. "I would like to see us get on the board earlier and put pressure on the other team to score to stay in it. But at this time of year, the pitchers are often ahead of the hitters. That will change, though."
Sinkkonen picked up her second win in as many starts, and for Tondryk, it was a matter of getting back to basics for the team's top pitcher.
"Simple stuff, fastball and change of pace," he said. "After that, everything else came into play."
Brenna McClary had three hits in three trips, scored twice and scored two bases, while Dana Jones had two hits including a triple, scoring twice and also stealing two bases. Shelby Peil had two hits and also scored twice.
"For us, it's just a matter of offensive consistency," Tondryk said. "It would be nice to have everyone on the same page offensively but we do think that will come with time."
Cloquet has already lost four games due to weather cancellations, and as those games are rescheduled, the team's schedule is going to look pretty chaotic.
For the time being, Cloquet is scheduled to face Grand Rapids on Thursday, April 25; Hermantown on Friday, April 26; Eveleth-Gilbert on Monday, April 29; and Ashland on Tuesday, April 30.
But, as they say on television, "check your local listings" if you'd like to see the team play. There are plenty of makeup dates still to be announced.