Cloquet softball's season ended with a third-place finish at the Minnesota Class AAA tournament in Mankato.
The Lumberjacks blasted Benilde-St. Margaret’s 10-0 in five innings in the state quarterfinals, but fell to eventual state runner-up Mankato West 12-2 in six innings in the next round.
The score against Mankato West was 2-2 when Cloquet loaded the bases in the fifth inning, with no outs, but the team failed to push any runs across the plate and gave Scarlets an opening.
Mankato West scored 10 runs over the next two innings to put Cloquet away.
“That was a turning point that we didn’t get some runs there and get a lead,” Cloquet coach Ron Tondryk said of the fifth inning.
While the Lumberjack bats were mostly quiet against Mankato West, they ended both of their other games early with 10 run wins against both Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Becker.
Junior Kiana Bender was 2-for-4 against Benilde-St. Maragaret’s and pitcher Lucy Sinkkonen allowed four hits and struck out nine.
Freshman Dana Jones was 4-for-5 with two RBIs against Becker and Sinkkonen threw a second four-hitter and struck out eight in the 11-1 win.
Cloquet will need to replace three of its four infielders in seniors Allie Wojtysiak, Olivia Diver and Keagan Anderson, but Sinkkonen and Bender will both return to take a swing at a second straight trip to the state tournament.
Class AAA Quarterfinals
Cloquet 10, Benilde-St. Margaret's 0, 5 innings
WP: Lucy Sinkkonen 5IP, 4H, 9K, 2BB. LP: Tibby Stewart 2IP, 6ER, 7H, 3K, 2BB. C: Dana Jones 3x4, 3R; Brynn Martin 4x4, 3R, 2RBIs; Kiana Bender 2x4, 2R, RBI; Keagan Anderson 2x3, 4RBIs; Allie Wojtysiak RBI. BSM: Taylor Damberg 2H.
Class AAA Semifinals
Mankato West 12, Cloquet 2, 6 innings
WP: Lauryn Douglas 2IP, 0ER, 1H, 0BB. LP: Sinkkonen 5.1IP, 5ER, 10H, 0BB. MW: Madi Mueller 3x4 (HR), 3R, RBI; Abbie Stierlen 2x4 (HR), 2R, 2RBIs; Kenzie Grunst RBI; Bri Stoltzman 2x4 (2B), 3RBIs; Douglas 2x3, RBI; Kayla Grunst 2x2. C: Dana Jones 3x4 (2B), RBI.
Class AAA Third Place
Cloquet 11, Becker 1, 6 innings
WP: Lucy Sinkkonen 6IP, 1ER, 4H, 8K, 2BB. LP: Corrie Weise 4.1IP, 5ER, 7H, 4K, 3BB. C: Dana Jones 4x5, 2RBIs; Kiana Bender 2x4 (2B), RBI; Allie Wojtysiak 2B, 2R; Keagan Anderson RBI; Jordyn Sorenson 2R; Brenna McClarey 2x4 (2B), 3RBIs; Josie Steen RBI. B: Emma Eickhoff 2x3 (HR), RBI.