CLOQUET - The Timberwolves better-than-expected softball season came to an end last Thursday as they fell in back-to-back games to slip from the double-elimination Section 7A tournament. After …
CLOQUET - The Timberwolves better-than-expected softball season came to an end last Thursday as they fell in back-to-back games to slip from the double-elimination Section 7A tournament. After advancing in the opening round just days before, the Wolves fell 8-0 to top-seeded Barnum. Hours later, they fell 19-5 to Mt. Iron-Buhl, to end their playoff hopes, and end their season at 9-9.
Head Coach Cory Lassi wasn’t too disappointed in his team’s performance against the powerhouse Bombers. “We played pretty well and ended up giving up five runs in the second inning,” he said. “It seemed like all season… we would have that one inning that we had a hard time getting out of. Their pitcher was dominant. She struck out eight and had just one walk.” Sydni Richards and Madeline Kallberg were the only players to get hits and the Wolves managed just four baserunners for the game.
It didn’t get much easier against the second-seeded Rangers. “Katrina threw both games and did well,” Lassi said. “It was a tough for her, and really, all the girls. It was pretty hot out there. Mt. Iron just came out and really hit the ball against us.”
Ely scored two runs in the top of the first, and the Rangers answered with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Mt. Iron added eight runs in the second to put the game out of reach. “It felt like we were running out of steam,” Lassi said.
While the team’s youth and inexperience posed challenges this year, it could well be an advantage as the team looks to next year. “I told the girls after we were done that our future looks bright,” he said.
The team will lose just one senior, Sydni Richards, to graduation, although she’ll leave a noticeable hole on the team. “We have lots of young players, but Sydni showed her leadership and hard work and led the way this season. She had a good attitude, always worked hard. She was so encouraging and also led by example behind the plate as a first-year catcher.”
Richards led the team with 84 plate appearances, including 30 hits and 27 RBIs for the season. Junior Charly Flom scored 36 runs and drew 19 walks, while Kate Coughlin showed power, rapping 10 doubles over the season. Rachel Coughlin hit two triples and the team’s lone homerun.
Pitcher Katrina Seliskar had 67 at bats and had 22 hits. The junior hurler pitched 103 and one-third innings, with 80 strikeouts.
While some of the younger players may not have regularly made the stats list, Lassi said he had the rare opportunity of giving some of the seventh- and eighth-graders on the team significant playing time, and that bodes well for the future. “Getting 30 or 40 at bats as a seventh-grader at the varsity level is significant in helping them develop their skills,” he said.