Bayside Chatter: Softball playoffs beginThe Polar League softball title went down to the last game of the season and was won by Barnum, 5-1 over the Mariners.
By: Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
The Polar League softball title went down to the last game of the season and was won by Barnum, 5-1 over the Mariners.
The Bombers finished at 11-0 to 10-1 for the Mariners. The Mariners finished the regular season with a record of 15-5. The top two were followed by Moose Lake in third and Esko, Carlton and Two Harbors tied for fourth.
The Mariners ended up with the top seed in the south half of Section 7A and received a first-round bye along with No. 1 Cherry-Cotton and No. 2 Nashwauk-Keewatin from the north half of the section. The Mariners first playoff game was Thursday against Littlefork-Big Falls.
The four survivors gather at Cohasset for double elimination play Tuesday starting at 1 p.m.
I look for the four survivors to be Cherry-Cotton, Mesabi East, Nashwauk-Keewatin and Silver Bay. The top four seeds from the south are Silver Bay, Hill City, Carlton and AlBrook and the north half has Cherry-Cotton, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Mesabi East and Littlefork-Big Falls.
Kirstin Sandstrom has been selected to play in the 22nd annual senior All-Star softball series June 13 at Caswell Park in Mankato – right after the state tournament. There are 72 players divided into six teams that will each play three games.
The Polar League baseball race will end up in a three-way tie for the title if Moose Lake defeats McGregor. They would then finish with a record of 7-2, the same as Floodwood and Esko. A Mariner victory over Barnum would give them a fifth-place finish in the conference. The Mariners finished up their regular season yesterday at Cotton.
The best team in baseball is the Tampa Bay Rays with a widening lead over the Yankees in the American League East. The Minnesota Twins are third-best in the AL following those two squads. In the National League, Philadelphia is the team to beat for the third year in a row with their top challengers being San Diego, St. Louis and Los Angeles.
The best pitcher in baseball is throwing for the Washington Nationals AAA team in Syracuse. His name is Stephen Strasburg. Since being promoted to AAA he has yet to give up an earned run. He should hit the majors sometime next month.
Likewise for the Minnesota Twins, their best starting pitcher is in the minors in the form of Kyle Gibson. He is 6-1 with an ERA of 1.72 and will shortly be at AAA Rochester on his way to Minnesota before the season is over. I had no idea of J. J. Hardy’s worth to the Twins until I saw the horrible alternatives when he was injured.
The Chicago Blackhawks have qualified for the Stanley Cup finals with a 4-0 sweep over San Jose.
They are joined by the Philadelphia Flyers. Chicago will be a huge favorite to bring home the Stanley Cup. They last won it in 1961. For the Flyers it was 1975.