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Wolves open postseason sharp

Patrick Slack
Posted 5/24/17

ELY - Timely hitting, sharp defense and lights-out pitching.

Ely had a ferocious trifecta working in its favor on Tuesday, enabling the third-seeded Wolves to advance past the first round of the …

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Wolves open postseason sharp

Posted

ELY - Timely hitting, sharp defense and lights-out pitching.

Ely had a ferocious trifecta working in its favor on Tuesday, enabling the third-seeded Wolves to advance past the first round of the Section 7A tournament with a 6-1 home win over sixth-seeded North Woods.

The Wolves were led by freshman pitcher Erika Mattson, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished with a one-hitter, striking out 10.

“We played very well in all aspects of the game,” Ely head coach Tom McDonald said. “Erika Mattson had a great day of pitching. She changed her speeds well and it was Erika’s best performance of the year. We played well enough defensively to make the plays we needed to.”

Anna Urbas went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Wolves at the plate, with Courtney Kellogg, Sydni Richards and Mattson each collecting two hits and an RBI.

Alli Sandberg broke up the no-hitter for North Woods with a single to lead off the top of the seventh inning for the Grizzlies’ lone hit.

“We just couldn’t get our bats going,” North Woods head coach Dee Ann Sandberg said. “We struggled with this most of the year. I know our girls can hit the ball, but it just didn’t seem to follow through into the games.”

Ely was scheduled to continue Section 7A tournament play versus Silver Bay on Thursday, and depending on that result, play the winner or loser between Nashwauk-Keewatin and South Ridge.

Play continues this week on Tuesday and Thursday in Cloquet.

Ely closed the regular season with a flurry of action last week, winning 7-4 at Littlefork-Big Falls on Wednesday, winning 8-6 at Eveleth-Gilbert on Thursday, falling 8-3 versus South Ridge on Friday, winning 10-7 over Mesabi East on Friday and finally sweeping Mountain Iron-Buhl 9-1 and 20-10 on Saturday.

Shayla Zaverl delivered three hits versus LFBF and Urbas slugged a pair of hits and drove home four runs versus Eveleth-Gilbert.

Urbas also collected four hits and six RBIs to wrap up the MIB doubleheader.

North Woods concluded the regular season by defeating Chisholm 16-12 on Wednesday before falling 11-1 at Nashwauk-Keewatin on Thursday and 11-0 to International Falls on Friday.

North Woods closed the season with a record of 9-9.

While it wasn’t quite the finish the Grizzlies were looking for after a 6-2 start to the spring, it did mark significant improvement for the young roster, with Alli Sandberg the lone senior.

“We did have a few younger girls who stepped up this year and did an excellent job,” coach Sandberg said. “We had a seventh-grader who showed us how to hustle all the time.

“I think we will be able to do better next year. We are losing only one senior, our go-to pitcher for the last three, four years. It’s going to be hard to fill her shoes, but we have two pitchers who hopefully will step up and help our team out. We saw a lot of good things this year, but hopefully we will see more next year.”

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