CLOQUET - While the Barnum softball team took some serious strides forward on the diamond this spring, it's been the Bombers' errors that have set them back.
And with their backs against the walls earlier this week, mistakes didn't make things any easier. Four Barnum errors in the top of the first inning led to eight Silver Bay runs and the Mariners managed to stave off the battling Bombers 10-7 in a Section 7A softball elimination game Tuesday, May 28, at Braun Park in Cloquet.
Barnum beat Silver Bay 8-2 just nine days prior, but their handful of fielding miscues Tuesday took its toll. Bombers coach Dustin Collelo pulled freshman pitcher KayeLea Poirier for fellow Bomber classmate Mendota Castonguay, yet an eight-run deficit causes its difficulty.
"That's a tough hole to dig yourselves out of," said Collelo of the opening inning, taking nearly 30 minutes. "And against good teams, you just can't make mistakes."
Senior Jessie Ketola homered for Silver Bay, who was later eliminated by Cherry.
And still, Barnum had opportunities to threaten the Mariners, but left runners stranded in scoring position early, along with the bases loaded later on. Sophomore Madison Warnygora and freshman Lacie O'Leary had a pair of RBIs each for the youth-filled Bombers, which finished the season 10-9.
"We clawed back," Collelo said. "They kept fighting - we just couldn't get that hit to get the lead."
Section 7A Playoffs
Silver Bay 10, Barnum 7
WP: Danika Thompson. LP: KayeLea Poirier. SB: Jessie Ketola 2x5 (HR), 2RBIs; Callie Klemmer 2x5, 2RBIs.
B: Madison Warnygora 2RBIs; Lacie O'Leary 2x4, 2RBIs.