Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Polar League All-Star Team A holds off Team B


Suzy Grutkoski, Lauren Pederson, Lea Peterson, Mallory Agurkis, Jessica Paull and Josie Benzie are on the Polar League All-Star Team A that won 8-6 on Monday, June 20, at West Duluth. Moose Lake's Ally Bode was also a selection for Team A, but was not present.

The Polar League All-Star Team A, including three girls from Moose Lake/Willow River and two girls from Barnum, were able to stave off a late surge by Team B and held on to win 8-6 at Wade Field 7 in West Duluth on Monday, June 20. Josie Benzie, Suzy Grutkoski, Jessica Paull and Lauren Pederson played for MLWR on Team A. Ally Bode was also a selection, but was on a band and choir trip to New Orleans. Barnum was represented by Mallory Agurkis and Lea Peterson.

Esko's Emilee Wilson pitched a complete game and struck out seven while walking three and allowing nine hits. Team B used a combination of pitchers and struck out four, walked three and allowed seven hits.

The MLWR girls and the Barnum girls all contributed to the win. Peterson had a three-run inside-the-park home run. Grutkoski had a one RBI triple, a single and scored a run. Peterson had an infield hit and scored a run. Agurkis and Paull each scored a run.

Team A stranded six runners and Team B stranded seven runners. Team A had two errors while Team B had three errors.

Team B set Team A down 1-2-3 to start the game. Wilson struck out her first and a soft grounder to short would have been a throwing error, but Two Harbors' lanky Alya Lemke made an All-Star play to stretch way out, snag it and to hold on. A walk was followed by a grounder to short.

An Eskomo got a single to center and was moved to second by a nub out in front by Benzie. A pop to third was followed by an infield single by Barnum's Peterson and she took an uncontested steal for runners on second and third. MLWR's Pederson tagged a very long drive to dead center with Team B's fielder making a very valiant effort to get under it before toppling over the fence. Pederson raced around the bases for a three-run inside-the-park home run for 3-0. Grutkoski singled up the middle, but was stranded by Wilson's pop to short.

A walk was followed by Agurkis flying to center. Paull walked after a wild pitch. Passed balls allowed runners to advance and a walk loaded the bases, but two flies stranded the runners.

Two singles were stranded in the bottom of the third and Team A went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth. A walk was left on in the bottom of the fourth. Team A left an error on in the top of the fifth.

Team B got a single up the middle to start the bottom of the fifth. A pop to the pitcher was followed by a single through the left side and a walk loaded the bases. A pop to first was followed by a hit-by-pitch for 3-1 before a grounder to third stranded three.

Agurkis was hit-by-pitch and advanced on a wild pitch before Paull walked. Runners advanced on a wild pitch to Esko's MacKenzie Hulland and Agurkis raced home on another wild pitch for 4-1 before Hulland was also hit-by-pitch. A give-me steal ensued and a strikeout followed before Hannah Stark from Esko drove in Paull and Hulland with a two-RBI single for 6-1. A roller to the circle and a good play on a hard grounder to get the lead runner at third got Team B out of the inning with no further damage.

After Wilson's seventh strikeout a single went up the middle and a passed ball allowed second with a grounder to short getting the runner to third. An error at second allowed a run for 6-2 before Team A got Team B out with a force at second.

The Bombers' Peterson legged out an infield hit. Although MWR's Pederson grounded out, Grutkoski slugged an RBI triple to right center for 7-2. Grutkoski scored on an error for 8-2 and despite another error, Team B got out of it with two force outs.

Team B would not go down without a fight. A single pulled down the line was followed by a stand-up double. An RBI single for 8-3 and a steal followed. A roller to the circle was enough for an RBI and 8-4. An RBI double into center made it 8-5. A soft liner went off the shortstop's glove and a passed ball made it 8-6. Wilson's third walk followed before Team A stranded three Team B runners to hold on for the win.


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