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

By Dan Lingle
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Barnum Blues take second in USSSA tourney


Dan Lingle

Sitting, front: Lilly Pettit, Dana Buell and Madisen Arnygora. Standing: Kaye Lea Poirier, Kelly Crump, Lenorah Korpela, Jessica Stevens, Jacinda Wright, Rayna Klejeski, Kaitlyn Buell and Madison Goodin. Coaches: Justin O'Leary, Melissa Stevens, Patrick Poirier and John Stevens.

The Barnum Blues U12 softball team competed in the annual United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) tournament held at Braun Park in Cloquet July 9-10.

The tournament began with the Blues playing three games Saturday, July 9, to claim their place in the tournament round Sunday, July 10.

The Blues played three intense and powerful games, showing great determination and will. The Blues first took on the Hermantown Blues with Barnum walking away with the 15-5 win. Barnum was led by Kaye Lea Poirier's nice pitching and Jessica Stevens' outstanding catching, as well as nice fielding by the entire team.

The second game of the day pit the Barnum Blues against the Esko Tomhave Olsen team. This was the strongest battle for the Blues that day. For this game, it was Dana Buell taking the pitching position inside the circle. The Blues' defense again was spot on as they came away with the 18-12 victory.

The third and final game for the day pit the Blues against the Cloquet Outdoor Advantage team. Pitching duties again went to Poirier. The Blues' defense held and brought them to a 10-5 victory, giving them a 3-0 game lead into the tournament rounds on Sunday.

The Blues began Sunday's games holding a second place position behind the Minnesota Blast team, also with a 3-0 game lead. Giving up fewer runs in Saturday's games the Blast grabbed first place to head into tournament play.

The tournament rounds began with the Blues taking on Cloquet Outdoor Advantage again. In a hard-fought battle, the Advantage stayed on the heels of the Blues. The Blues were able to hold off the Advantage to take the 12-9 victory to advance to the semi-final game.

The Blues then took on the team from Cloquet B&B Market. This was a low scoring game as both teams struggled to score. The Blues scored first and were able to hold off the Market for a score of 5-2. It was again Poirier in the circle, but the Blues' strong defense led them to the final round.

The final game of the tournament had the No. 2 Blues team taking on the No. 1 Blast team. It was the Blues that took the early lead with a nice hit by Madisen Warnygora to get the ball rolling. The Blast tied the game up when they came to bat. The Blues took back the lead as they scored four runs in the next inning and held the Blast to only one run.

The Blues held the lead, but soon the Blast got the opportunity to take the lead and did not relinquish it. The Blues fell to the Blast 11-6, giving the Blues a second place finish for the USSSA tournament.


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