Wrenshall pitcher Brooke Kent isn't throwing the ball as hard as she did last season, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Kent had five strikeouts and walked just three batters in the Wrens' 13-1 loss to Silver Bay on Tuesday, April 30, at Braun Park in Cloquet.
Wrenshall has a varsity softball team for the first time in many years, and Kent has emerged as one of the Wrens leaders, according to Coach John Peterson.
"Brooke is the backbone of the team," Peterson said. "She's learned to slow her pitches down this year and her control is phenomenal at this point. We win or lose based on her on any given day. She used to have more pop, but she had less control last year."
Kent pitched well, but seven fielding errors for the Wrens cost the team dearly and allowed Silver Bay to build an 8-1 lead after three innings.
Kent also drove in the team's only run in the first inning. Mariner pitcher Danika Thompson walked the first two batters she faced, allowing Kent to drive in Anne Mattson. Thompson found the strike zone after Kent's hit and struck out the next three batters to end the inning.
Peterson said he has two eighth-graders starting on the varsity team who hadn't played softball before this season. Even so, the team showed progress in the loss and the young Wren batters are starting to warm up, he said.
"We're starting to get some bat on the ball," Peterson said. "We have a couple of girls on varsity that have probably taken less than 50 at bats in games."
Wrenshall (1-3) is next scheduled to play Hinckley-Finlayson at 4 p.m. Monday, May 6, at Braun Park.
Silver Bay 13, Wrenshall 1, 5 innings
At Cloquet. WP: Danika Thompson 5IP, 7K, R, 6BB. LP: Brooke Kent 5IP, 5K, 3BB. SB: Jessie Ketola 3x4, 2RBI, 2R; Livia Hoff 3x3, HR, 3RBI, 3R. W: Kent 3x3, RBI; Anne Mattson R.