5/30/2019 3:54:00 PM CL can't get the timely hit, fall 3-1 to Cloquet and will have to win two
Section 7AAA Playoffs The second-seeded Wildcats have had an exciting run in the Section 7AAA playoffs so far. They opened with a win over Princeton in extra innings, came from behind in the bottom of the seventh to beat Hermantown, lost a tough one to top-seeded Cloquet and showed some offense in a shutout of Grand Rapids. Tonight, the 3-1 Wildcats will take on 3-0 Cloquet for the section championship at Chisago Lakes High School at 3:30 p.m. Since Cloquet is undefeated at this point in the double elimination tournament, the Wildcat will have to beat Cloquet twice in a row today to win the section. Wildcat head coach Brenda Carlson said “The number one and number two seed facing off is what you want. We are pretty well matched. It all comes down to who makes plays, who doesn’t make plays and who gets the big hit. We are looking forward to it.”
Senior pitcher Trinity Junker has started and completed all four games for the Wildcats. In 28 innings, she has allowed just five runs – three earned – on eight hits, walked 12 and struck out 50. Seven of the walks came in the win over Hermantown and Junker has struck out at least ten batters in every game. “Trinity will start both games Thursday night,” said Carlson. “As a senior, any game could be her last. So, they are her games to win or lose.” Chisago Lakes 1, Princeton 0 Natalie Thornburg’s double over the right fielder’s head in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Paige Berquist from second base to give the Wildcats a 1-0 win over the Princeton Tigers last Thursday, May 23 at Chisago Lakes High School. Trinity Junker struck out 16 Tigers in eight shutout innings to pick up the win.
Only one Wildcat even reached third base before the eighth inning. In the bottom of the third, Berquist doubled with one out and went to third on Savanna Harrington’s sacrifice bunt. But Thornburg popped out to end the threat. And no Tiger batter reached third base until the sixth inning. Allie Shuza doubled with one out and moved to third Angela Lindell reached on an error. But Junker got the next two batters to pop out and the game stayed scoreless.
Berquist singled to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Harrington sacrificed her to second. Thornburg stepped up to the plate and hit a ball toward right that kept carrying and carrying, until it landed behind the right fielder and bounced to the wall. Berquist scored easily and the Wildcats had won game one.
Chisago Lakes 3, Hermantown 2 With the Wildcats trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, Desi Spicer drilled a single into right center field to drive in two runs to lift the Wildcats to a 3-2 win over the Hermantown Hawks in game two of the section playoffs. The game was played Saturday, May 25 at Braun Park in Cloquet. Wildcat head coach Brenda Carlson said “The kids never give up. That’s what’s fun about coaching this team in every game to the very end. You just never know.”
With two outs in the top of the first, Trinity Junker walked four straight Hawks to push across one run and gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead, But she settled down and struck out Bryton Kukowski to limit the damage. In the top of the third, a leadoff walk and a triple made it 2-0, but Junker struck out the next three batters to limit the damage.
The Wildcats threatened to break it open in the bottom of the fifth. Junker doubled with one out. Kaitlyn Istvanovich followed with a single, but the courtesy runner was thrown out trying to score from second on the play for the second out of the inning. Alice Johnson and Jessica Bergerson each singled to load the bases. Spicer reached on an error by the second baseman to push across the Wildcats’ first run of the game. But Johnson was thrown out at home, and the Wildcats had pulled within one.
Junker walked to open the bottom of the seventh, Istvanovich followed with a single. Johnson popped out, but Jessica Bergerson walked to load the bases. Up stepped Spicer, who delivered the biggest hit of her high school career to send the Wildcats to a final four showdown with top-seeded Cloquet.
In seven innings, Junker allowed two earned runs and just one hit. She walked seven and struck out ten.
Cloquet 3, Chisago Lakes 1 The Cloquet Lumberjacks scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth, two of them unearned because of an error, and the Lumberjacks beat the Wildcats 3-1 to send the Wildcats to an elimination game against Grand Rapids in the Section 7AAA tournament. Junker allowed three runs (one earned) on two hits, walked three and struck out 13 in taking the loss.
With the score at 0-0, Junker singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning. Kaitlyn Istvanovich followed with a double to left to score courtesy runner Greta Gillach. Page Berquist followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and third with no outs. It looked like the Wildcats were headed for a big inning. But Berquist was caught stealing and the next two batters struck out, ending the Wildcat threat.
Junker struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. Shelby Piel reached on an infield hit and Junker hit leadoff batter Diana Jones to put runners on first and second with two outs. Brynn Martin doubled over the head of center fielder Alice Johnson to drive in one run. The Wildcats threw home to cut down the lead runner, but Istanovich couldn’t come up with the throw at home, and when she threw down to third to try to get an advancing Martin, the throw sailed into left field, and when the dust settled, two more runs had scored with Martin coming all the way home and Cloquet led 3-1. The Wildcats managed just one baserunner in the sixth and went down 1-2-3 in the seventh
Chisago Lakes 6, Grand Rapids 0 Immediately following the loss to Cloquet, the Wildcats had to play the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks in an elimination game. Paige Berquist and Alice Johnson drove in two runs each and Trinity Junker allowed just two hits and no runs to lead the Wildcats to a 6-0 win over the Grand Rapids. Junker walked just one and struck out 11 in another dominating performance.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Alison Bergerson doubled to deep left center. Junker followed with a pop fly down the left field line. Bergerson had to hold up to see if the ball was caught. The ball dropped in between fielders and Bergerson scampered to third as Junker reached second with a double. Istvanovich hit a ground ball to short and Bergeson was thrown out trying to score from third. Berquist then drilled a line drive over the first baseman’s head that hit just inside the line and kept going for a double. Both runners scored and the Wildcats led 2-0.
With one out in the third inning, Alison Bergerson walked, and Junker singled to put runners on first and second. Istvanovich singled to drive in one run. After another run scored on an error, Johnson doubled to put runners on second and third. Berquist followed with a two-run double to put the Wildcats up 6-0. After allowing two baserunners in the top of the fourth, Junker retired the last 11 batters in the game to seal the win and send the Wildcats to today’s winner-take-all showdown with Cloquet.