Cloquet pitcher Lucy Sinkkonen allowed just five hits and struck out 10 batters in Cloquet's 3-1 win over Chisago Lakes in the Section 7AAA tournament Tuesday, May 28.
Sinkkonen has allowed just five runs over the first three games of the section tournament and the Lumberjacks are undefeated heading into the championship game Thursday, May 30.
Cloquet also avenged its last loss, a 1-0 defeat at Chisago Lakes on May 10.
Lumberjack freshman Brynn Martin had a double and two RBIs to lead the team offensively.
Wildcat pitcher Trinity Junker was nearly as sharp as Sinkkonen, allowing just two hits and striking out 13 batters. Junker, however, walked three batters while Sinkkonen allowed no free passes.
While Sinkkonen has been dominant on the mound, she hasn't received a lot of assistance from Cloquet hitters in two of the three tournament games. Cloquet had opportunities to break open the first round game against Hibbing, but needed a game-winning single from Josie Steen in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure a 3-2 win over the Lumberjacks.
Hibbing has scored two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game and force Cloquet to bat again.
"(Lucy) pitched great today," Coach Ron Tondryk said after the Hibbing game. "She moved the ball up and down and in and out and she pitched well. It's just unfortunate she had a couple at the wrong time, but we didn't help her offensively today, either."
The offense was better against North Branch on Saturday, May 25, with sophomore Brenna McClarey belting a three-run home run and collecting four RBIs in an 11-2 win. Senior Allie Wojtysiak collected three more RBIs and Sinkkonen struck out seven and again walked no one in the game.
Cloquet will travel to face Chisago Lakes once again in the Section 7AAA championship at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30. After the loss to Cloquet, the Wildcats eliminated Hermantown with an 8-5 win. While Chisago Lakes will need to beat Cloquet twice to advance to the state tournament, Cloquet needs just one more win to move on.
Cloquet 3, Chisago Lakes 1
WP: Lucy Sinkkonen 7IP, 1ER, 5H, 10K, 0BB. LP: Trinity Junker 6IP, 2ER, 2H, 13K, 3BB. Cloquet: Brynn Martin 2B, 2RBIs. CL: Desi Spicer 2x3; Kaitlyn Istvanovich 2B, RBI.