Jacket Softball takes 2-of-3 conference games

Greg Hunt

The Bluejacket softball squad continued its good start to the 2011 season with hot bats in a win over Princeton. But the Jackets were a little too generous while taking their first loss in an extra-inning game with St. Michael-Albertville.

On April 14, Cambridge-Isanti rolled up an 11-4 win over the visiting Tigers with productive hitting up and down the lineup.

“It was a good team effort overall. Bailey (Bakken) threw strikes and picked up her third complete game win in a row,” said C-I Coach Dave Hanson. “Defensively we played well overall but had a few miscues that we can correct.”

His Bluejackets took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI triple from Bakken followed by an RBI single by Allie Hanson. In the fourth, C-I plated three runs fueled by RBI singles off the bats of Hannah Thiry and Taylor Bowker.

The Jackets created more distance from Princeton in the fifth by scoring four more runs with another key line-drive single by Thiry knocking in Elizabeth Hafner. Katie McCann followed with a two-run single to score Grace Smethers and Thiry.


C-I catcher Katie McCann was upended on a close play at the plate when St. Michael-Alb. took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning.

St. Michael-Alb. 3, C-I 2 (8 inn)

The host Bluejackets and Knights were locked in a tight 1-1 battle through five innings, then the game turned into a chess match with St. Michael-Albertville coming up with one last key run. But the C-I girls had their chances.

“This was a good pitchers’ duel. We just hit a lot of ball right at their fielders, and the Knights made the plays,” said Coach Hanson.

St. Michael crept ahead in the top of the sixth on a two-out single, and the throw home was on time but it just skipped past C-I catcher Katie McCann. The Jackets answered to knot the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth when Allie Hanson worked a two-out walk, moved up on a passed ball, then she scored while hustling around third base when Erica Epsen’s grounder was booted by the second baseman.

Hanson continued her hustling play in the top of the seventh when a SMA runner singled, tried to stretch it into a double and Hanson made a sprinting diving tag for the out during the rundown. It was a huge play since the Knights followed with a single and an error at third, but were shut down when Bakken induced a grounder to Hanson which she smothered for the final out.

The Jackets stranded a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh. The Knights jumped ahead by a run in the  eighth when Kelsey Black tripled opposite field to left, and she scored on a hard single. McCann then opened C-I’s eighth with a base hit and stole second. But she was stranded at third after two ground outs were handled by the Knights.

Senior Allie Hanson wore the dirt of effort after she ran down a Knight for a key out in the seventh inning of the April 18 game.

Bakken finished with 7 strikeouts and just one walk while throwing all eight innings.

• Saturday’s double-dip with the Duluth teams was postponed due to weather. The Bluejackets will host Duluth East April 29 and Duluth Central May 14 for the makeup games with their Section 7AAA partners.

C-I 8, Zimmerman 0

Bakken threw a 4-hit, 5K shutout to keep the Thunder winless April 19. McCann, Hanson, Bowker and Amanda Hanson all had 2 hits, with Bowker and Bakken ripping triples.

The Jackets opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a single by Bowker followed by an RBI single by Allie Hanson. Another run was tallied in the second on an RBI groundout by Elizabeth Hafner, plating Erica Epsen who lead-off the inning with a walk.
C-I opened up the game in the fifth with the first six batters reaching base and scoring.  McCann and Amanda Hanson singled to get the rally started. Taylor Bowker blasted a triple to left and she was soon followed by another triple to left off the bat of Bailey Bakken, which scored Bowker and Allie Hanson. McCann came up again and knocked in the final run of the game with a sharp single.

M-8 Softball

Buffalo 4-0, 4-0; St. Michael-Alb. 4-1, 4-2; Becker 3-1, 3-1; Cambridge-Isanti 3-1, 4-1; Monticello 2-1, 3-1; Rogers 1-3, 2-3; Big Lake 1-2, 2-2; Princeton 0-4, 0-4; Zimmerman 0-5, 0-5.