Bayside Chatter: Softball talent honoredThe Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches’ Association named senior Kirstin Sandstrom to its Second Team Class A All State team, with sophomore Taylor Guzzo receiving honorable mention.
By: Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
The Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches’ Association named senior Kirstin Sandstrom to its Second Team Class A All State team, with sophomore Taylor Guzzo receiving honorable mention. Sandstrom also was an Individual Academic Award winner. Two Harbors received a silver award for their team academic achievement of a GPA of 3.50-3.74.
Sandstrom at pitcher and Guzzo at shortstop were also named to the Polar League All Conference Softball Team along with sophomores Madison Olson at pitcher and Sasha Fjeran at catcher for Two Harbors. Receiving honorable mention were junior Nikki Babbitt at second base and sophomore Marina Carter at first base for the Mariners and senior Abby Ray at first base for the Agates.
The Mariners softball season ended with a 5-2 loss to the Cherry-Cotton Tigers in the Section 7A championship game. I never figured on this team doing quite as well as they did this season, due to their youth and some holes that needed to be filled defensively. They proved me wrong as they developed quite nicely and gave Cherry all they could handle in two playoff games. They finished second in the conference with one loss and were ranked in the state rankings for the majority of the season.
They had one senior who played regularly in Kirstin Sandstrom and she was their top pitcher and top hitter. She will be playing next season at Gustavus Adolphus. She led the Mariners in batting, RBIs (tied with Guzzo), doubles, triples and home runs. She’s a no brainer for the MVP and top offensive player with Taylor Guzzo the runnerup.
Rookie of the year I give to sophomore left fielder Brittany Duresky with freshman right fielder Rebecca Dilley the runner-up and most improved player goes to junior third baseman Jessalyn Rowlee. Best defensive player goes to sophomore first baseman Marina Carter with Guzzo the runner-up. These are my awards and have nothing to do with the team.
The Mariner baseball team was also a surprise as they finished the season at 8-9 after winning only once in their first seven games. I figured early on that there was not very much hope for this squad the way they were playing. When their bats came around, then they started to win some games. They finished fifth in the conference with a mark of 6-4.
The team’s Achilles heel was their inability to consistently throw strikes and their defense. They also worried way too much about base runners instead of batters. I give my MVP award to junior catcher Zach Bulen who led the team in hitting and had his hands full many times behind the plate.
Best offensive player goes to junior Warren Carter along with best defensive player. Rookie of the year goes to Daniel Wilson and most improved player goes to eighth grader Lucas Small. Hunter Panetti, the only senior on this team, gets the best pitcher award.