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Prep report: Cloquet reaches 7AA softball title game

After an afternoon of thrilling comebacks, Cloquet's hopes of defending its Section 7AA high school softball championship came down to preventing a rally.

After an afternoon of thrilling comebacks, Cloquet's hopes of defending its Section 7AA high school softball championship came down to preventing a rally.

Mora put runners on first and third base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning before junior pitcher Chandler Beaupre induced a groundout and struck out the final batter to preserve the Lumberjacks' 3-1 win Tuesday at Portage Park in Cohasset.

Beaupre's six-hitter sent Cloquet (12-5) into Thursday's 4 p.m. championship game against top-seeded Hermantown (19-3). The Lumberjacks, who must win twice to defend their crown, bounced Hermantown from last year's playoffs.

"It will be a good matchup," Cloquet coach Ron Tondryk said. "They are going to come into it with revenge and we're trying to get back down to the state tournament. We're not going to change our approach."

That never-say-die approach was in full bloom Tuesday. Cloquet rallied past Greenway 7-5 in its first game of a tripleheader by scoring five runs in the top of the seventh. Beaupre and Kristi Anderson each had two RBIs.

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The Lumberjacks then scored seven runs in the sixth to slip past Virginia 9-6. Katrina Smith drove in four runs and freshman Kassidy Steen capped the rally with a two-run home run.

"We were behind the eight-ball and we had to fight back and keep battling," Tondryk said. "We preached to them at the end of the first two games to never give up. I said, 'We're not going to give up now; we're going to play seven innings.' And that's what we did."

They hope to play at least 14 innings Thursday against Hermantown, but that will be difficult against pitcher Katie Thun. The senior threw another no-hitter in a 6-0 win over Mora in the winners' bracket final. Thun struck out 13, walked one and allowed only one other baserunner. Jillayne Gilbert's two-run single in the first essentially sealed the win.

Cherry 4,

Littlefork-Big Falls 0

Kacey Herring threw a four-hitter and struck out 13 as the top-seeded Tigers advanced to the Section 7A championship game for the fifth consecutive season with the shutout at Braun Park in Cloquet.

Heidi Olson scored two runs and Logan Anderson and DeAnn Bjerklie drove in runs to send Cherry (20-4) to Thursday's 4 p.m. title game against the Vikings (19-4). Defending Class A champion Cherry has won the past three section titles.

Brooke Millerbernd recorded four RBIs as Littlefork-Big Falls earned a rematch by pounding Deer River 18-1 in five innings.

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Deer River had survived by beating Silver Bay 12-2 and South Ridge 13-2 in a pair of five-inning elimination games.

Baseball

River Falls 5, Superior 1

James Witt tossed a three-hitter as the Wildcats ended the Spartans' season with the victory in a Wisconsin Division 1 regional at Morie Arnovich Field.

Jake Libal scored the only run for Superior (7-5).

Golf

Mille Lacs cleans up

at Section 7A meet

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Mille Lacs dominated the Section 7A meet at Virginia Municipal Golf Course, winning both boys and girls team and individual titles.

The boys, led by medalist Grant Exsted's 21-stroke victory, totaled 630 strokes over 36 holes. That was 38 shots ahead of runner-up North Woods. Exsted shot a 68 in Tuesday's second round.

Local boys state tournament qualifiers included North Woods sophomore Scott Rutar (161), Deer River sophomore Jacob Starck (163), North Woods freshman Spencer Viita (164), Northeast Range senior Nik Langevin (167) and North Woods seventh-grader Tate Olson (169).

The Mille Lacs girls edged Barnum by nine shots, led by medalist Amy Bolin's 186 total. The senior edged seventh-grade teammate Heidi Schultz one by one stroke. Local state qualifiers included Barnum underclassmen Jamie Bird (195) and Kelsey Timm (197) and Northeast Range senior Galina Herring (197).

r Superior senior Spencer Sitek shot an 82 to tie for 19th at the Wisconsin Division 1, Sectional 1 meet at Stevens Point Country Club. That was five strokes shy of what was needed to qualify for next week's state meet.

Trevor Thomas of team champion Stevens Point shot a 70 to earn medalist honors.

Girls soccer

Superior 3, Hayward 1

Cassie Hansen scored twice as the visiting Spartans closed the regular season on a positive note.

Superior, seeded 11th in the Wisconsin Division 1 sectional playoffs, travels to No. 6 Marshfield in the first round Thursday.

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