KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Junior college baseball and softball players have been getting in as many reps as they can over the past few days in sunny Florida before heading back home to chilly Northern Minnesota. Below is a capsule look at the last few days of action for the Mesabi Range baseball and softball teams and the Vermilion baseball team.
Mesabi Range baseball
The Norsemen had a day off on Monday but squared off with the Community College of Rhode Island Sunday, coming away with a loss, 12-4.
Kody Lindgren took the loss for Mesabi Range giving up 11 runs on eight hits over three innings of work. Lindgren struck out four, walked two and finished with eight earned runs.
Max Carlson was strong at the plate for the Norsmen, going 2-3 with an RBI. Brad MacDougall finished 2-3 on the day and Taylor Allen was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Winless in three games so far in Florida, Mesabi Range head coach Chris Veto talked about the importance of improving while on their spring break trip.
“We’re coming down here and playing some stiff competition,” Vito said Monday afternoon. “We’ve talked about not focusing on the wins and losses but just on getting better, and we talked about that well before we came down here.
“We’ve had some bad luck too with Jared Upsahl and Matthew Salters working on some injuries. That kind of hurts our flexibility but it also gives other kids the opportunity to step up and show what they can do.”
Even with the limited bench, Vito believes the improvements are coming where they need to.
“I feel we’ve gotten better every game. Bats are getting better, pitchers are getting better. This is all about us getting better before divisional play. We’re just hoping to continue that improvement trend as we finish up here.”
Mesabi Range will compete in a doubleheader with Minnesota West today beginning at 2:15 p.m. Central Time in Kissimmee.
Mesabi Range softball
The Lady Norse put up two strong showing on Sunday in a doubleheader with a Northland, but fell in both games by scores of 9-7 and 5-4.
In the first game, Kaitlyn Knutson took the loss in the circle for Mesabi giving up nine runs over seven innings of work.
Holly Krentz led the Norse at the plate in game one going 4-4 with a run and two RBIs. Cassie Cornell was 3-4 while Hailey Aho finished 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Carly Welk finished 2-4 with a run scored and Morgan Schlotec was 3-4.
In the second game, Knutson again took the loss for Mesabi giving up five runs on 12 hits over six innings. Knutson struck out one and walked two.
Hailey Aho led at the plate going 3-3 with a double, a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. Montana Baker was 1-3 with an RBI.
On Monday in Clermont, Fla., the Lady Norse took the junior varsity squad from Notre Dame College (OH) and fell by a score of 12-4.
In the loss, Aho finished 2-3 with a run, two RBI and a triple. Schlotec finished 1-2 with a double and an RBI. Baker finished 1-3 with a run and an RBI while Krentz and Sam Teasck each went 1-2 with a run scored.
Mesabi Range (0-4) will take on the Marietta College (OH) JV today at 1:15 p.m. and then take on Niagara County Community College at 5:15 p.m.
On Monday in Kissimmee, the Ironmen squared off with Owens Community College (OH) and fell by a score of 11-8.
Not short of chances to take over the game, Vermilion left a total of 11 men on bases including a bases loaded situation in the seventh to take the loss.
Connor Knettel took the loss on the mound for Vermilion going just three inning but giving up no earned runs.
Dawson Linkert was hot at the plate going 3-4 with two RBIs. Cody Leslie finished with two hits and two RBIs and Chase Bottin finished with two runs scored.
Last Friday, the Ironmen took on divisional rival Mesabi Range in Auburndale, Fla. and came away with the 9-1 win.
Kaleb Beane got the win on the mound for Vermilion throwing five complete innings allowing just one run on two hits while striking out five. Kyle Hintz closed out the final two innings and gave up no runs on one hit while striking out three.
At the plate, Cody Leslie went 2-2 with three runs scored, Dawson Linkert went 2-4 and Chase Bottin went 2-2 with a three run home run as well as four RBI.
Vermilion (1-4) will wrap up their Florida swing today in Auburndale with games against Minnesota State-Fergus Falls and Lewis and Clark College (Ill.).