A Historic Trip to State for the Lumberjacks Softball Team
It's been seven years since the Cloquet softball team has played in the Class AAA state tourney.
CLOQUET, Minn. – The Cloquet softball team are heading back to the Class AAA state tournament for the first time since 2012.
It wasn’t an easy trip for the Lumberjacks as they were no–hit by Chisago Lakes to force an elimination game in the section finals. But then they showed off their signature resiliency, which has been a key to their run to the state tourney this season.
“We really don’t let off of the gas pedal at all during the game. We’ll get down and then players in the dugout that aren’t even playing are picking us up and helping us throughout the game. Even the younger girls that don’t get into the game are getting in being pinch runners,” said infielder Keagan Anderson.
“It’s definitely going to take a lot of work. We need to talk like we have been and just communicate with each other and pick each other up if we ever have a tough inning or a tough game,” pitcher Lucy Sinkkonen said.
Cloquet nabbed the four seed and they will face Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the quarterfinals, a team they have little to no knowledge of, which is typical for this time of the year.
“That’s been difficult. We’ve been trying to do some research. We’ve got a nice little scouting report. But when you go down to state, all the teams are good. We just got to play our game and I think the girls are up for that challenge,” said head coach Ron Tondryk.
“I think, in a way, it kind of helps because we don’t have a bias. We don’t know what we’re getting into so at practice, we’re just hitting and fielding and doing our game. We know we’re going to have the confidence of whatever we face. We know it’s going to be close but we can face anything,” infielder Olivia Diver said.
First pitch Thursday morning at Caswell park in Mankato is set for 11 a.m.