Sports Roundup: Mariners hoping for shot at stateMariners hoping for shot at state, TH softball, TH track, SB track, SB baseball, TH baseball, TH golf, SB golf
By: Matt Suoja and Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
Mariners hoping for shot at state
After winning three out of the last four section 7A softball titles for a trip to Mankato and the state tournament, the Mariners softball squad hopes to make another deep run when they opened up the playoffs against Little Fork-Big Falls at 5 p.m. Thursday in Cloquet after a first round-bye.
“You have to relax and have the breaks go your way,” said head coach Mike Guzzo. He said the team must also play excellent defense.
With that, the team may need a little more luck this year because of youth.
“We are very young with six sophomores and a freshman,” Guzzo said. “It’s their opportunity and their turn.”
Before entering the playoffs, things may not have ended the way they wanted.
Kirstin Sandstrom led off the battle for the Polar League Championship against Barnum last Thursday with a single and reached third base when the ball was misplayed in the outfield. When the next batter, Taylor Guzzo, grounded out, Sandstrom scored to put the Mariners ahead 1-0. Unfortunately for the Bay, that was the last time they would cross the plate in the game and Barnum scored five times for a 5-1 victory and the title.
The Bombers got all they needed in their half of the first when they scored twice for a 2-1 lead. Claire Rodgers led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She scored when Jessica Newman tripled well past the center fielder. Katrina Newman reached base on an error and her sister scored what proved to be the winning run.
Barnum worked out another run in the second inning with a walk, bunt and single. In the sixth inning two walks followed by two singles brought in two more runs for a final score of 5-1.
Sandstrom took the loss giving up five runs on six hits. She struck out one and walked four. Marina Carter and Nikki Babbitt had the other two Mariner hits. The Mariners finished at 10-1 in conference play compared to Barnum’s mark of 11-0. The Bay finished the regular season at 15-5.
Last Wednesday the Mariners traveled to Duluth and defeated the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers 18-2 in five innings at Wheeler Field. The first four Mariner batters singled and scored for a 4-0 lead after one inning of play. Then the Bay sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored 10 times.
Guzzo went 4-for-4, while Babbitt and Shay Viola each had three hits and Carter, Brittany Duresky and Jessalyn Rowlee each reached base twice via a hit. Guzzo, Sandstrom and Viola each scored three times. Guzzo drove in four runs, Babbitt drove in three and Carter and Viola each brought home two more. Senior Rachel Spies picked up her first varsity hit and scored. Babbitt went the distance on the mound for the Mariners giving up two runs on five hits.
The Agates came out of the playoff gates hot pounding Esko 12-2 Tuesday in the first round of the sections.
“We got on the board early with a couple of doubles from Abby Ray and Courtney Kimball,” said head coach Julie Benson. “They set the tone for the rest of the game. Once again we played great team ball with everyone contributing offensively, backing each other up in the field and keeping errors to a minimum.”
Madison Olson picked up the win for Two Harbors allowing three hits with four strikeouts.
Ray led the offensive charge going 2-for-4 with two runs, an RBI and a stolen base. Kimball also had a double in the game with an RBI and Cammie Triggs scored three runs to go along with two hits and stolen base.
“The girls are playing well right now,” Benson said. “We can compete with anyone.”
The team will now play Greenway at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 27 in Cohasset.
The Agates swept a doubleheader Friday in Two Harbors.
They topped Esko 8-1 with Olson leading the way once again. She pitched seven innings, allowing two hits, striking out six. Sasha Fjeran led the offensive charge with two hits and two RBIs. Kimball also had two hits and an RBI and Ray had two hits, including a double and an RBI.
Olson also picked up a win against AlBrook 7-3. She pitched seven innings once again striking out nine, allowing four hits. Fjeran was the offensive leader once again with three hits and an RBI. Kate Morsette had a double in the game.
“This was our first double header and a great way to end the regular season,” Benson said. “All week long we played well as a team. Everyone contributed offensively and kept errors to a minimum.”
The Agates topped Mesabi East 4-3 Thursday after rallying from a 3-0 deficit.
Down by one in the seventh, the Agates strung together two runs. After a Mesabi East error, then a single, and another error, Kimball drove in the game-winning run sending Marissa Engelson to home. Ray had a triple in the game.
Olson pitched five innings, allowing two hits while striking out eight.
Two Harbors topped Eveleth-Gilbert 8-7 Wednesday with a late-inning rally.
Olson got the win allowing four hits and getting four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings of work. Kimball also pitched allowing six runs on four hits.
The Agates rallied from 7-6 deficit in bottom of the seventh as Engelson singled in the tying run and Savannah Juenemann’s one-out bases-loaded single scored the winner. Fjeran also went 3-for-5 from the plate with three RBIs.
The Agate track team put on another strong performance at the Polar League Outdoor Championship last Wednesday as the boys and girls team finished second.
On the boys team, Chad Brelie and Jon McDannold came in at No. 1 and 2 in the 100 meters. It was much the same in the 200-meter dash with Ryan Guentzel winning the event and McDannold coming in second.
Caleb Hamp-Sill once again put on a show with a first in the long and triple jump. In field events, Alex Rohde was second in the shot put.
The boys 4-by-800 relay team won its event as did the 400-meter relay.
On the girls team, Lacey Myrdal won the 400 meters and finished No. 2 in the 200 meters.
Sonja Peterson reigned supreme in the 3,200 meters taking the top spot and the 1,600 relay team also had a strong performance with a second place finish as did the 800-meter team placing in the same spot.
In field events, Stephanie McGregor once again had a good showing winning the shot put and discus.
The Agates competed at sub-sections Wednesday. The top four relay team’s advance and top seven individuals in each event qualify for sections. Some qualifying times could also get a runner to sections.
The Mariners track squad readied for sub-sections at the Polar League Outdoor Championship last Wednesday with the boys team placing sixth and the girls coming at No. 10.
“We’re shooting for sections,” said head coach Rick Frericks. He said if some team members make it to sections, it would be like the team’s state meet. “We have a really tough sub-section. Strange things have happened at these meets.”
At sub-sections the top four relay teams advance and top seven individuals in each event qualify for sections. Some qualifying times could also get a runner to sections.
On the boys team at the Polar League event, Hank Bemlott finished fifth while Mark Harris was No. 7 in the 110 meter hurdles. Bemlott and Harris also finished No. 9 and 10 in the 300-meter hurdles respectively. Kyle Blood was No. 4 in the 800 meters as well. In field events, Baruch Fischer was fifth in the shot put and No. 10 in discus.
The boys 4-by-800 relay team finished second while the 4-by-200 team was sixth.
Frericks said it was the best Polar League boys team performance he has seen.
On the girls team, Abby Michels finished seventh in the 100-meter dash, ninth in the 200 meters and No. 6 in the 400 meters. Sam Anderson was fifth in the 3,200 meters.
Frericks said the 4-by-800 boys relay, Shane Loeffler in the 800 meters, Bemlott in the hurdles and Anderson of the girls team in the 3,200 meters, all stand a chance to make it sections if all goes well at sub-sections Wednesday.
The Mariners fell 10-5 to the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers Wednesday in their first attempt to reach the .500 mark for the season.
The Bay had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their first at bat but ended up being done in by a six run inning from the Hilltoppers. Most of those runs were unearned as they came via three hits and two errors. No Mariner had more than one hit in the game. Luke Thun singled and drew two walks and Cody Larson walked twice. Ryan DeShaw had two RBIs. Hunter Panetti had the loss on the mound for the Bay.
The Mariners upped their record to 6-7 with a 7-2 victory on the road Thursday over Babbitt-Embarrass/Tower-Soudan or BEST.
The Mariners fell 11-3 to the AlBrook Falcons Tuesday, the probable No. 1 seed from the south half of Section 7A, at Saginaw in a game that they literally gave away. The Mariners committed seven errors, walked 13 batters and committed three base running errors simply.
The Falcons ended up with 11 runs on six hits with eight of the walks coming in to score. The Mariners had three runs on five hits. The Falcons scored twice in the first and twice in the second to take a lead they would never relinquish.
DeShaw started for the Mariners and went 2 2/3 innings giving up eight runs on five hits and took the loss. Zach Bulen went the next 2 2/3 innings giving up three runs on no hits. Daniel Wilson got the last two outs and gave up one hit. Warren Carter, Hunter Panetti, Bulen, DeShaw and Cody Vadnais had the Mariner hits with Carter and DeShaw getting RBIs.
The Mariners open up sections Saturday.
The Agates fell to Mesabi East 6-5 Friday.
Two Harbors was held to three hits Monday as AlBrook shut them down 3-0. Agate pitcher John Forsberg did pitch a solid game throwing seven innings allowing four hits, striking out eight.
Two Harbors opens section play Saturday.
The Agates girls golf team shot a 462 for an 11th place finish on day-one of the sectional tournament Tuesday at Giants Ridge.
No girls golfer was named in the top five. Day-two of sections will be held at Giants Ridge June 2.
The Agates boys and girls golf team both finished third at the Polar League Championship held at Superior National in Lutsen last Wednesday.
The standings were based on that meet along with one held in April at the Cloquet Country Club.
No boys were named All-League at the meet, while Erin Hoeft on the girls team finished third for the designation.
The Agates boys team took second in a triangular meet Friday in Lutsen against Wrenshall and Cook County.
The boys golf team opened up sections Thursday at Giants Ridge.
The Cook County-Silver Bay had a strong showing on the first day of sections Monday at Giants Ridge as the boys team placed second overall.
The team combined for a score of 361. Zack Twiest, of Cook County led the team shooting an 86 followed by Shane Billings, of Silver Bay, who put up an 88.
On the girls team, Erica Borson, of Cook County, scored a 127.
All of the golfers mentioned above, plus a few more boys from Cook County, will advance to day-two of sections June 1.
“With another good day, this team can make up the difference and advance to the state tournament,” said head coach Scott Steinbach.
Silver Bay-Cook County won a triangular boys meet against Two Harbors and Wrenshall Friday at Superior National in Lutsen. Billings shot an 88 for third place.
The Silver Bay-Cook County boys team finished fourth at the Polar League Championship meet last Wednesday in Lutsen.
No girls team qualified. Kipp Sande, of Cook County, won the individual title at the meet.