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

By Shawn Bode
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Rebels Softball Still Alive After 3 Playoff Games


Yvonne Skelton

Pictured are the Rebels' 3 players voted to the Polar League All-Conference team: (left to right) Natalie Mikrot, Sarah Christy, Lilli Skelton.

The MLWR Rebels softball team started playoff action as the #2 seed in the southern half of Section 7AA. A good crowd came to Willow River and saw the Rebels take down the #7 seed, Pine City Dragons, 11-3. Freshman leadoff hitter Natalie Mikrot had a big day at the plate as she started the day getting on base through an error, and then doubled, tripled, and homered deep over the center field fence in succession. Kaitlin Ballentine had homered earlier in the game, a 3 run clout in the third inning, and finished 2 for 3. Dallis Kukuk was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI's, Ashley Grutkoski was 2 for 2 with a double and 2 walks, and Maci Kukuk was 2 for 3 with a double. Lilli Skelton pitched the first 4 innings to get the win, giving up 3 unearned runs, with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Sarah Christy picked up the save going the final 3 innings of scoreless softball on just 1 hit, getting 6 punch-outs and no walks. This earned the Rebels a spot with the final 8 teams of the section playing double elimination.

On May 21 the Rebels traveled to neutral site Cloquet to face the #3 seed from the north half of the section, Eveleth- Gilbert. Golden Bears pitcher Payton Dosan proved too tough for Rebels bats, despite a late comeback, as the Bears won 4-3. The Rebels collected 7 hits: one each for Dallis Kukuk, Rachel Christy, Ashley Grutkoski, Bella Meyer, Janna Bode, Sarah Christy, and Maci Kukuk. Lilli Skelton took the loss giving up 1 run in 4 innings and Sarah Christy finished up giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, in the final 3 innings.

The locals in red and blue stayed alive with crisp play in a 6-2 win over Rush City. Sarah Christy picked up the win with 4 innings of 1 run, 3 hit ball and also was the hitting star going 2 for 2 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's. Other Rebel hits in the game came from Rachel Christy, Kaitlin Ballentine, and Dallis Kukuk. Kukuk also provided speed on the bases with 2 of the Rebels 4 steals. Key defensive plays were provided from Maci Kukuk at second base, Natalie Mikrot behind the plate, Bella Meyer in centerfield, Janna Bode in rightfield, and both Skelton and Christy in the pitcher's circle. The Rebels travel to Grand Rapids as the section has been whittled from 15 down to 6 teams vying for one elusive state tournament berth.


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