Prep report: Hermantown one step closer in 7AAA softball tournament

The Hawks will face a Chisago Lakes team they beat in a thriller eight days ago.

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Prep report
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Hermantown pitcher Natalie Vitek delivered in the batter's box as well, recording a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning as Hermantown claimed a 2-1 extra-inning victory over North Branch in the winner's bracket of the Section 7AAA softball tournament on Saturday at Braun Park in Cloquet.

Vitek struck out 13 Vikings in the contest, which was delayed five hours by a wave of morning thundershowers.

The Hawks advance to the next phase of the tournament on Tuesday afternoon at Chisago Lakes High School in Lindstrom. The Hawks and host Wildcats will play for the first berth in the section final, to be played on Thursday.

Hermantown and Chisago Lakes played on May 20, with Vitek striking out 17 and Avery Ferrell winning the game (in Hermantown) on a walk-off hit.

In the elimination bracket, Hibbing and North Branch are the other two teams standing. After losing to Hermantown, North Branch dismissed Grand Rapids 10-1. Grand Rapids had earlier knocked out Duluth Denfeld 7-2.


On the other side of the bracket, Cloquet went 0-2 and out on its home turf, losing its opener 10-0 to Chisago Lakes before falling 4-2 to the Bluejackets.

Hibbing and North Branch will play Tuesday in Lindstom with the winner advancing to face the loser of the Hermantown/Chisago Lakes game immediately after.


Solon Springs runner gets into state meet

Solon Springs freshman Cade Lisson found an alternative route into next weekend's WIAA state track meet in La Crosse after seedings were announced Saturday morning.

Lisson ran the 400 meters in 51.07 seconds in the Division 3 sectional meet on Thursday at Colfax, but it was only good enough for fifth place in a race where the top four runners qualified automatically for state. He was admitted as an extra qualifier by virtue of his time being among the eight best of all sectional performances statewide in his division. In fact, the freshman's time was the sixth-best in the state across the four sections. Only eight male athletes statewide qualified by this method.

Lisson's brother Calin won this event at the state meet in 2021.

Northfield 12, Duluth 6
Minneapolis 13, Grand Rapids/Greenway 6

Section 7AAA
Hermantown 2, North Branch 1 (9 innings)
Chisago Lakes 10, Cloquet 0
Grand Rapids 7, Duluth Denfeld 2
Hibbing 4, Cloquet 2
North Branch 10, Grand Rapids 1

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