Parker’s RBI single lifts Carlton over Cromwell-Wright

Pitcher Abby Mitchell recorded 11 strikeouts in the Bulldogs' win.

Carlton freshman Abby Mitchell makes a pitch during the Bulldogs' 5-3 win over Cromwell-Wright in the opening round of the Section 7A tournament Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Jamey Malcomb /

Carlton junior Carly Parker hit a pitch from Cromwell-Wright’s Jill Anderson into shallow right field, scoring two runners and leading the Bulldogs to a 5-3 win in the first round of the Section 7A tournament Tuesday, June 1.

The teams battled back and forth for the first three innings, with the Cardinals taking a two-run lead early, but Carlton battled back to grab a 3-2 lead in the second inning.

Cromwell-Wright tied it up in the fourth inning, setting up Parker’s game-winning hit with two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning. Parker said she was frustrated with her first two plate appearances and was just looking to get on base.

Carlton junior Carly Parker swings at a pitch during the Bulldogs Section 7A playoff game against Cromwell-Wright Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Parker had a two-RBI single in the Bulldogs' 5-3 win. (Jamey Malcomb /


“I hadn’t really done well in my first two at bats, so I just wanted to get on base and advance the two runners so we could score,” Parker said.

After Carlton grabbed the lead, freshman pitcher Abby Mitchell held the Cardinals in check and didn’t allow another run to score. Early on, Mitchell said she had a little trouble finding the strike zone, but was able to pitch her out of a couple jams, including a situation with runners on second and third with just one out. Mitchell allowed one run to score, but otherwise limited the damage.

“The ump had a little bit of a tight strike zone today,” Mitchell said. “But once I found it, I just tried to hit those corners and it started working.”

Carlton coach Brent Pokornowski was impressed with the team’s ability to battle back after getting down early.

Cromwell-Wright freshman Jill Anderson swings at a pitch during the Cardinals' 5-3 loss to Carlton on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Jamey Malcomb /

“They’re resilient, they’ve got a never-quit attitude,” Pokornowski said. “(Cromwell) hit the ball really well, but we were able to stop those timely hits and Abby’s just continued to hit those spots and got us out of runners on second and third. Working her way out of that inning was huge.”

Carlton (8-7) will play Cherry in the second round of the Section 7A tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 3, at Braun Park in Cloquet.


Carlton 5, Cromwell-Wright 3

WP: Abby Mitchell 7IP, 3ER, 11K. LP: Jill Anderson 6IP, 5R, 15K. C: Elizabeth Hey 2x3, 2R; Carly Parker 1x3, 2RBI. Carley Lawry 2R. CW: Anderson 2x3, R; Vaida Blomquist 1x3, R, RBI.

Carlton's MaeLyn Pokornowski swings at a pitch during the Bulldogs' 5-3 win over Cromwell-Wright on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (Jamey Malcomb /

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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