Esko gets hot on a cold day, wins 13-3

 

April 26, 2024

Dan Saletel

Esko's Elly Barta makes it to first base safely as the ball slips under the glove of Barnum's Ali Collelo during Thursday afternoon's chilly game in Esko.

Cold temperatures and ominous skies greeted the Esko and Barnum softball teams Tuesday afternoon in Esko. Fortunately, the rain held off and both teams did their best to keep warm with temperatures dropping to around 38 degrees by game time. When the final at bat occurred, it was Esko coming away with the 13-3 win.

"Our girls were pretty fired up because last year Barnum beat us, so they had a little incentive to come out and play hard," said Esko coach Huff Emanuel. "We came out fast and the girls kind of relaxed after a big first inning."

Esko did, indeed, have a big first inning, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the first to gain a big lead.

"We have to be better at getting ready for the start of the game," said Barnum coach Dustin Collelo. "We had walks, we had errors and they had hits and all of a sudden we were down 9-0."

Perhaps one of the biggest plays came in the top of the first when the Bombers had two runners on. Esko pitcher Kaelyn Foxx was able to induce a comebacker (a ground ball right back at the pitcher), which she turned into a double play to get out of the inning. That seemed to give her team momentum heading to the bottom of the inning.

Bailey Plante and Rilee Durovec led the offensive attack for Esko with four hits apiece. Plante counted two doubles and a triple among her hits and Durovec had a double as well.

"We did a good job of bunting early and then running the bases, and that was big for us," said Emanuel.

Trailing 11-0 after two innings, the Bombers bounced back with three runs in the top of the third inning when Lyla Oetterer drove in Ali Collelo, Piper Genureau and Danika Olson with a two-out double.

"After the first inning I thought we did a good job of fighting back," Collelo said. "We were able to battle and keep from getting 10-run ruled until the sixth inning."

Esko had 15 hits in the six-inning game, while the Bombers managed three hits off Foxx. Esko is now 6-4 on the season with an unusual 10 games already played.

Dan Saletel

Esko pitcher Kaelyn Foxx held Barnum to three hits in a 13-3 win.

"We're winning the games I think we should win, but we are not competing against teams that are bigger schools, and that is something we need to work on," Emanuel said. "We need to learn to compete in every game and be ready for every inning."

Barnum is 4-2 on the season. Collelo would like to see a bit more consistency in their overall game.

"Offensively we need to square up more balls in our at-bats," Collelo said. "We need to be better defensively and we need to throw strikes and not walk people."

Next up for Barnum was a Thursday night game at Two Harbors while Esko was set to host Duluth East Thursday.

 
 

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