C-I Softball splits with Buffalo, still in M-8 chase

Splitting the Mississippi 8 series with Buffalo, the Cambridge-Isanti softball club is still in position to claim at least a share of the conference championship. The Bluejackets may need to sweep their final three M-8 games: at Rogers May 18, at St. Michael May 20, and home vs. Monticello May 23.

On May 17, Buffalo took a 2-1 win at CIHS in pitchers duel between C-I’s Bailey Bakken and the Bison’s Bailey Braatz. The Jackets mustered only 6 singles and left 10 runners on base.

Bakken went the distance, surrendering only 5 hits with 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. Shanlee Braun was the hitting star for the Bison with 2 long doubles and 2 RBI– one shot in the fourth and one in the sixth. C-I had a rally going in the bottom of the seventh but fell one hit short.

The Bluejackets won the May 13 game at Buffalo 5-2. C-I scored one in the third on an Allie Hanson RBI single to drive in Amanda Hanson from second. Buffalo took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Jackets countered with the tying run in the top of the sixth. Taylor Bowker laced a lead-off double to the right-field wall, scoring on a wild throw to third base.

C-I plated three runs in the top of the eighth inning on RBI hits from Bowker, Allie Hanson and Grace Smethers. Bakken was outstanding again, striking out 9 Bison and retiring the side in order in four of her eight innings.

“We played with a lot of heart and fight,” noted C-I Coach Dave Hanson. “Even though we made a few mental errors, I am really proud of how the girls played the game.”

Duluth Central 8, C-I 4

The section-partner Trojans scored three runs in the fourth inning to defeat the host Bluejackets May 14. Kendall Sandberg’s three-run triple had C-I within 5-4 in the bottom of the third. Katie McCann and Bowker both had two hits against Central. Kate Hammero and Jessica Golden shared pitching duties for the Bluejackets.

C-I 11, Becker 6

The Jackets rallied with 9 runs in the seventh to defeat the Bulldogs May 16. Six straight hits were supplied by Amanda Hanson, Bowker, Allie Hanson, Bakken, Smethers and Leah Ponting, with Kendall Sandberg later lacing a double.

M-8 Softball

Buffalo 12-2, 14-2; Cambridge-Isanti 11-2, 12-4; St. Michael-Alb. 9-5, 9-6; Big Lake 7-4, 8-4; Becker 8-6, 11-7; Monticello 7-6, 9-6; Rogers 3-10, 6-11; Princeton 1-11, 1-11; Zimmerman 0-12, 0-12.