It was a busy second week in May for the Isle Huskies softball team, who played four games in seven days and wound up winning two (really three) and losing two.
The two biggest wins were the single game against Hinckley/Finlayson which counted for two wins in the Great River Conference. The win over Hinckley left them tied with Rush City in the GRC – each with one loss.
Isle had just one GRC game left as of May 14, that against Braham. A win over the Bombers would ensure at least a tie for the conference title.
The Huskies entered the fray last week ranked ninth among the 113 Class A softball teams in the state – the ranking done by Minnesota Softball Hub. Heading into the third week of May, the Huskies were 11-3 overall and tied for first in the conference.
The Aitkin Gobblers softball team hosted the non-conference Isle Huskies on May 6, and won 9-8 by scoring a walk-off run in the bottom of the final inning.
Each team managed to score runs in bunches until Isle tied the score at 8-8 with two runs in the top of the seventh taking advantage of an Aitkin error and a walk and some clutch, 2-out hitting by Izzy Kawiecki and Tommi Spengler.
Aitkin led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and the winning run eventually scored on a fielder’s choice.
Isle pitching gave up nine runs on just six hits, three walks and struck out five.
Aitkin pitching gave up eight runs on seven hits, walked 10 and struck out six. Krawiecki kept her hitting spree alive, going 3-4 at the plate and 33-40 in the 11 games so far this season.
Isle freshman Jill Thompson tossed a brilliant one-hitter, walking just four and striking out seven to help the Huskies to an 11-1 victory on May 7.
Isle’s offense produced nine hits, including three by Izzy Krawiecki who extended her spring hitting barrage to 33-44 in the 12 Isle games to date.
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The stakes were high as the Isle Huskies hosted the Hinckley/Finlayson Jaguars in a Great River Conference showdown between two of the top three teams in the league – each with one loss. A win over the Jags was worth two points in the GRC, and both teams knew it.
Isle jumped out to 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when they sent nine batters to the plate and got clutch RBI hits from Emily Miller and Carly Gallion.
Pitching by Gallion and three outstanding defensive plays turned in by centerfielder Rainy Orazem, left fielder Izzy Krawiecki and shortstop Tommi Spengler helped the Huskies stifle the Jaguars on offense during the first three innings.
But the Jags crept back to tie the score 4-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. With all the chips on the table, Isle cashed in with two one-out hits by Grace Carlson and Orazem, followed by the winning RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Lexie Lancrain.
Gallion went six innings on the mound, but Jill Thompson was credited with the win by being the pitcher of record during the seventh inning.
The Virginia Blue Devils put up a 7-spot in the second inning leading to a 10-0 win over the Isle Huskies in a non-conference game on May 11 at Rush City’s field.
Isle managed just two hits in the loss.