Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeSportHigh SchoolMariner Softball Aims High in Playoffs

Mariner Softball Aims High in Playoffs

Mike Guzzo, Mariner softball coach, said that every year is special and this year is no exception.

With a record of 14-3, the Mariners thought they would likely end up as a three-seed be­hind Moose Lake and Cherry. Coach Guz­zo commented, “I think we have as good a chance as anyone, but we have to go out and prove it.” The Mariners opened their playoff run with a home contest against Floodwood Tuesday afternoon.

Coach Guzzo says his favorite moments this year include beating Barnum in a thrill­ing game and beating Duluth East in early May. The Barnum game last Friday saw the Mariners hold a two run lead in the bottom of the seventh before Barnum loaded the bases and looked to tie or take the lead with a bloop to right field before Brooke Velcheff raced in and made a shoestring catch to nail down the victory.

Hope Ernest and Danika Thompson have been regulars since eighth grade. Hope leads the team in pitching wins and she and short­stop Thompson lead the team in batting at .471 and .450 respectively. Guzzo added, “Nysjah Duncan has had fewer at bats, but is hitting over .500.” Berkeley Hoff has also pitched well in her ten pitching performances.

Assuming the Mariners won their playoff game, they will have played Thursday at Braun Park in Cloquet when the double elimination part of the tournament begins. Danka said one of her favorite memories in her career was this year’s win over Duluth East. Her other favorite memory comes from several years ago. “Back when I was in eighth grade, we upset Barnum in the playoffs and I will never forget the feeling of that win.”

Danika believes that the Mariners can compete with anyone. “Our three losses came in games in which we made a lot of mistakes, so if we play mistake free and stay focused we have a shot.”

Senior Natalie Kaiser said her favorite memories include the bus rides home after games. Guzzo said that the left-fielder “has had a real good year both at the plate and in the field.” Natalie also says her team is very close and that could well be an advantage in 7A playoffs. “We are confident that we have a shot.”

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