Silver Bay pitcher Danika Thompson struck out seven batters and allowed just one run in the Mariners' 13-1 win over Wrenshall on Tuesday, April 30, at Braun Park in Cloquet.
Thompson had a bit of a shaky start, walking the first two batters she faced and allowing the Wrenshall pitcher Brooke Kent to drive home Anne Mattson. After those three batters, she found her control and struck out the next three batters she faced to end the inning.
Thompson wasn't the only young Silver Bay player to shine against the Wrens. Freshman Livia Hoff was 3-for-3 at the plate with a home run and three RBIs in the game.
Despite four seniors, overall the Mariners are a very young team, starting two eighth-graders and three freshmen this season.
Coach Mike Guzzo said seniors Jessie Ketola and Callie Klemmer have provided good leadership. Ketola has been helping out Thompson behind the plate, guiding the eighth-grader as she rounds into form.
"Jessie and Callier are doing a great job hitting and playing well," Guzzo said. "Jessie played really well today at catcher. She's been helping Dani."
Guzzo said the team is developing into a good squad and with about as many eighth-graders on the team as seniors, the Mariners could be a strong team for years to come.
The Mariners have picked up wins in their section in the past couple weeks over Deer River, Cook County and Floodwood, which will help as they head toward the Section 7A tournament later in May.
"We're helping ourselves by winning these games we need to win against Cook County, Floodwood and Wrenshall - they're all in our section," Guzzo said. "I tell them every night, we have to jockey for a little positioning in the section. In the end, Carlton and South Ridge are pretty good. If we can fight to get a top-three seed, it helps not to have to play one of those teams in the first round."
Silver Bay (4-3) is scheduled to host South Ridge at 4 p.m. Monday, May 6.
Silver Bay 13, Wrenshall 1, 5 innings
At Cloquet. WP: Danika Thompson 5IP, 7K, R, 6BB. LP: Brooke Kent 5IP, 5K, 3BB. SB: Jessie Ketola 3x4, 2RBI, 2R; Livia Hoff 3x3, HR, 3RBI, 3R. W: Kent 3x3, RBI; Anne Mattson R.