Prep softball: Eskomos plate 20 in convincing win over Two Harbors

Kaitlyn Adkins and Maya Emanuel each had four hits en route to leading Esko to its first win of the season.

Players greet teammate
Members of the Esko softball team greet teammate Kaitlyn Adkins at home plate after her solo home run in the first inning of a game against Two Harbors, Thursday, April 21, 2022 at the Esko Athletic Complex.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal
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ESKO — The Eskomos piled up 20 runs with 10 different players recording a hit on their way to a 20-4 (four innings) drubbing of Two Harbors, Thursday, April 21, at the Esko Athletic Complex.

After being held to six hits in their 6-3 loss to Moose Lake earlier in the week, the team’s overwhelming success at the plate Thursday was a welcomed sight for coach Brad Emanuel.

“I think our batters started seeing the ball and started squaring it up a little bit better today, which is nice to see,” Emanuel said.

Starting pitcher Amber Carlblom pitched all four innings for Esko in the win. In the process she racked up four strikeouts while giving up five hits and a pair of walks.

“Amber threw pretty consistently today,” Emanuel said. “They hit her a little bit, but she was really good today (overall). Our goal today was just to throw strikes and then work on things, and she did that. Our defense made a couple errors, but she got them out of that too, so for the most part I’m very happy to get in the W column today.”


Pitcher winds up
Esko pitcher Amber Carlblom winds up for a pitch during a game against Two Harbors, Thursday, April 21, 2022, at the Esko Athletic Complex.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

The run-scoring marathon for Esko began with a two-out rally in the top of the first inning when Kaitlyn Adkins sent a pitch over the fence in centerfield for a solo home run. Maya Emanuel and Bailey Plante kept the inning alive with a pair of base hits before Olivia Johnson drove in her first of two runs with an RBI single to make it 2-0.

A wild pitch in the ensuing at-bat scored the team’s third run.

After a one-two-three frame for Carlblom in the circle, the Eskomos went back to work at the plate with a 10-run showing in the latter half of the inning. Avery Kuklinski, Jayden Karppinen and Emanuel loaded the bases with three-consecutive hits. All three base-runners were waved home after a pair of walks and a two-RBI single by Mikayli Marciulionis.

Doubles by Karppinen and Emanuel along with a base hit by Adkins drove in five more runs to put Esko up 13-0 through an inning and a half.

The Agates managed to chip away at Esko’s daunting lead in their second time up to the plate by converting inning-extending errors into runs via a pair of base hits by Brette Peterson and Casey Underdale.

The four-run outburst was the extent of Two Harbors’ offensive output as the Eskomos clamped down in the innings that followed to bring the contest to an end after four innings in a 20-4 final.

Player slides into base
Esko's Addison Sertich slides safely into third base during a game against Two Harbors, Thursday, April 21, 2022 at the Esko Athletic Complex.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

In spite of the lopsided score, Two Harbors coach Orianna Scherer was pleased with the team’s performance given their inability to prepare on their field as a result of the weather.

“Honestly, this is the first time that they have pretty much thrown hard balls this season, because we have snow on our field right now (and the) first time they’ve stepped foot on dirt,” Scherer said. “I’m very happy with what just happened even though the score does not display that.”


Esko   3 10 3 4 x x x — 20

Two Harbors   0 4 0 0 x x x — 4

WP: Amber Carlblom 4.0 IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K; LP: Rachel Bopp 4.0 IP, 18H, 20R, 20ER, 11BB, K.

Esko (2-2): Avery Kuklinski 1-3, 2BB, 2R, RBI; Jayden Karppinen 3-5, 2B, 3R, 3RBIs; Kaitlyn Adkins 4-5, HR, 2B, 3R, 4RBIs; Maya Emanuel 4-4, 2B, BB, 2R, 3RBIs; Bailey Plante 1-2, 2BB, 2R, RBI; Olivia Johnson 1-2, BB, 2RBIs; Carlblom 1-2, 2BB; Mikayli Marciulionis 1-1, 2BB, 2R, 2RBIs; Kaelyn Foxx 1-1, R, RBI; Raegan Olson 1-2, BB, 2R. Two Harbors (0-1): Casey Underdale 1-2, 2RBIs; Megan Larson 1-2, R; Olivia Fosness 1-2, R; Brette Peterson 2-2, R, 2RBIs.

Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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