Silver Bay senior Callie Klemmer picked up a pair of RBIs, but the Mariners dropped their first softball game of the season 9-6 to Mountain Iron-Buhl Tuesday, April 2.
The team scored enough runs to win, but 10 walks by Silver Bay pitchers allowed the Rangers to steal the win, according to Coach Mike Guzzo.
Pitching was one of the big holes the team had to fill in 2019 after both of the Mariner pitchers from last season - Cora Carter and Everly Bauck - graduated last spring.
Klemmer is picking up a lot of those duties for the moment, but Guzzo is also working to develop eighth graders Danika Thompson and Hope Ernest. Early in the season, though, Silver Bay will rely heavily on Klemmer.
"We're going to try to baby the eighth-graders a little bit and ride Callie as long as we can," Guzzo said.
The Mariners also have a big hole to fill in the outfield with graduation of Jocelyn Russell. Starting in her place will be freshman Livia Hoff. Supporting Hoff in the outfield will be seniors Aurora Ramsdell and Julie Littlewolf. The trio played some last season, but will have to work well together to make up for the loss of Russell.
Leading the Silver Bay hitters will be senior Jessie Ketola. Ketola was the Mariners' top hitter a season ago, with a .520 average and 33 RBIs.
Guzzo said freshman Hannah Thums will also need to step up to the plate to make up for the lost production of Bauck, Carter and Russell.
Silver Bay finished third in the Section 7A in 2018, behind eventual section champion Carlton and runner-up South Ridge. Both teams return most of their starters from last season, while Silver Bay could struggle as it tries to develop young players who have seen little or no time at the varsity level before.
The Mariners are next scheduled to play Esko at 4 p.m. Friday, April 5, in Esko.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 9, Silver Bay 6
At Mountain Iron. LP: Callie Klemmer 4.2IP, 5R, 2H, 2B, 3K, 8BB. SB: Anna Thompson 2x4; Klemmer 2RBI.