Superior senior Chesie McLaughlin struck out five batters over seven innings and hit a three-run home run to lead the Spartans to an 11-3 home win over Esko on Monday.
Even when McLaughlin struggled with control, the Eskomos were unable to take advantage of the opportunities. In the third inning with Esko leading 1-0, McLaughlin walked four batters, but Esko managed only one run when Miranda Kelley scored on a passed ball. McLaughlin got junior Kaitlyn Adkins to fly out to deep center field to end the inning.
Instead of allowing the game to get away, McLaughlin pitched her way out of the jam and left the Spartans trailing by just two runs.
In the bottom of the fourth, Esko starter Amber Carlblom had some control issues of her own. The junior walked four batters of her own and hit another. Unlike the Eskomos, Superior was able to capitalize on the free passes and some Esko mistakes. Senior Zoie Johnson made a throwing error at third base that allowed Elise DeGraef to score after a Kaylee Baker single. Three more runs came home when McLaughlin came up with two runners on.
Superior added three more in the bottom of the sixth after Avery Visger and Kaylee Baker drove in three runs on back-to-back singles.
Cloquet 13, Duluth Marshall 6
At Braun Park in Cloquet, Dana Jones hit a solo home run whole going 2-for-3 with two RBIs at the plate to lead the Lumberjacks over the Hilltoppers.
Justice Paro and Roena Driver each hit triples for Cloquet while batting 2-for-4. Paro drove in two runs and Driver brought home one.
Marshall was led by Gracie Thomas, who went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Duluth Denfeld sweeps Eveleth-Gilbert
The Hunters followed up a tight 5-4 victory in the opener with an 11-1, 5-inning victory in the night cap for the sweep.
Hanna Hovland hit a home run for Denfeld in Game 1 and Sam Snyder had a homer in Game 2 for the Hunters.