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

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Mustangs settle for tie with Rampage


Al Rose

Amber Lehti had a two RBI single and a double Tuesday, June 28, against the Twin Ports Rampage at West Duluth.

Two Harbors was unable to field a team so the Mustangs got an early start for a game with one of the three Twin Ports Rampage teams and ended up being forced to settle for a six inning 4-4 tie as the time limit was imposed at Wade 7 in West Duluth on Tuesday, June 28. It was the Mustangs second tie this season.

Lilli Skelton started with four innings of no-hit softball and ended up with two strikeouts, three walks and four hits allowed. The Rampage pitchers combined for five strikeouts, two walks and six hits.

Amber Lehti led the Mustangs with a two-RBI single and a double. Suzy Grutkoski had a single and an infield hit and scored a run. Hannah Humphrey had a single and scored a run. Jamie Benzie had a bunt single and scored a run. Dallis Kukuk scored a run.

The Rampage had one double and three singles.

The Mustangs stranded six runners, had four steals and had two errors with one costing a run. The Rampage stranded five, had no steals and committed one error that did not cost a run.

Suzy Grutkoski dropped an infield single between the circle and second and stole with Benzie up. Benzie's perfect bunt single moved Grutkoski to third and Benzie stole with Kukuk at bat. Grutkoski tried to race home and score on Kukuk's grounder to third, but she was out. With runners on second and third, Lehti's single was good for two RBI's and 2-0. Sami Nylen popped to third, but Kayla Behrman was hit-by-pitch. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third, but Ashley Grutkoski struck out.

A soft pop behind third was a good hustle play by Suzy, but a two-base throwing error at third ensued. A ground out to second and a called strike three for Skelton stranded the runner at third. Rachel Christy flied to center and Liz Risacher walked and stole before Laney Danelski struck out. Ellie Anderson grounded to short.

The Mustangs set the Rampage down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second.

Skelton got caught looking, but Humphrey singled and Suzy used her skill and speed for a bunt single and her second hit. Benzie's nub in front moved the runners to second and third. Two wild pitches allowed Humphrey and Suzy to score for 4-0 before Kukuk struck out.

Suzy made a fine play to track down a short pop on the apron. Skelton walked her first, but that was taken care of with a force at second. Kukuk made an excellent play to lunge and get under a soft liner.

Lehti's second hit was a solid double. Nylen's good sacrifice bunt moved Lehti to third, but Behrman struck out and Ashley popped to second.

The Mustangs notched their second 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth.

Christy rapped back to the circle. Risacher drew her second walk, but Danelski hit into a tag and toss to first double play.

An error at second was followed by a seeing-eye single that plopped into shallow center for the Rampage's first hit. Skelton's second walk loaded the bases, but she came back and got her second strikeout. A single through the left side scored two runs for 4-2. The Mustangs got out of more trouble with soft rollers to third and to second.

Anderson rolled to second and Skelton flied to left, but Humphrey reached on the Mustangs first error and stole with Suzy up. Suzy got most of it, but it became a long out to left.

A pop to third was followed by an infield hit off Skelton's glove. A soft pop foul to first ensued, but a walk and a two-RBI double to the alley tied it at 4-4. Suzy made her third nice play with a catch over her shoulder on the fringe.

Despite having been told that a seven inning game could be allowed, the one hour and 15 minute time limit was imposed even though no other teams were waiting to play on the field.

The Mustangs play Silver Bay on Wednesday, July 13 on Wade 6 at 7 p.m. followed by a game with the South Ridge Panthers 16U team on that same field set for 8:30 p.m.


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