Hot start for Ely’s softball team
Other than a little bump in the road Tuesday afternoon, the start of the high school season couldn’t be much better for the Ely Timberwolves.Thursday, Ely won for the third time in four games, dominating Babbitt-Embarrass-Soudan-Tower and cruising to an 8-2 win behind the pitching of Jackie Lekatz.The junior fired a two-hitter, struck out 11 and showed much better control than in Tuesday’s 16-3 loss to Mt. Iron-Buhl, when she and reliever Kelsey Ivancich combined to issue 11 free passes.The wins have head coach Steve Smrekar optimistic about the 2004 campaign.“Things are going good,” said Smrekar. “It’s our best start in many years.”Ely managed just four hits Thursday against losing pitcher Nova Abrahamson, but the Wolves made good use of them.With the help of some walks and errors, Ely pushed four runs across in the first inning, added single tallies in the third and fourth and put two more on the board in the sixth.Senior Gena Jerich had a hit and scored three times for the Wolves. Classmate Lauren Klun singled in a run, while both Lekatz and Lara Doran had hits.Meanwhile, Lekatz kept BEST off the basepaths. She didn’t need much help from her defense, recording strikeouts on more than half of the 21 outs.That wasn’t the story two days earlier, when MIB scored twice in the first, four times in the second and put a 10-spot on the board in the third.The walks, and five Ely errors, played a big part in the uprising.“We just didn’t play very good,” said Smrekar. “We had the walks, physical errors and mental errors.”Ely also struggled at the plate against winning pitcher Steph Morisette, who tossed a four-hitter with six strikeouts.Lisa Thielen had two hits for the Rangers and teammate Ashley Spicer scored three runs.For Ely, Lekatz and Doran had hits while Jerich had a hit with two runs batted in.The Wolves met Indus late Friday and they have two trips to the North Shore this week (Silver Bay Monday and Cook County Friday) sandwiched around a Thursday home tilt with Chisholm.• Like the Ely baseball and basketball teams, the softball team has moved up from Class A to the Class AA enrollment division.