CLOQUET — No. 2 Virginia suffered a setback Thursday in game one of their 7AA playoff run, falling to No. 3 Mora 3-1, sending themselves to the loser’s bracket where another loss would have meant elimination.
The Devils started the contest on top, striking first with a run in the bottom the third inning.
Carly Tausk reached first on a hopper that made its way through to right field. Two batters later, a walk from Megan Kingston put runners on first and second with one out.
One more out later, an RBI single from Madeline Potts drove Tausk home and the Devils took the early lead in the playoff contest.
Virginia had more opportunities to score but struggled to bring the runs home when they needed to.
Mora finally got on the scoreboard themselves with a big sixth inning where they saw two runs come home.
Alana Fix reaches on a leadoff single for the Mustangs and then quickly made her way to third on the next at bat. With one out, Fix came in to score on a wild pitch from Devils pitcher Ava Warren, tying things up at 1.
Warren recorded the next out, but the Mustangs put together a string of two-out singles that gave them the lead. Singles from Sage Wren, Gabby Anderson and Grace Anderson allowed one more run to cross home plate.
Mora added one more run for insurance in the top of the seventh and the Virginia offense was stifled as they failed to score in the final two innings. With everything said and done, the Devils took the 3-1 loss, sending themselves to the elimination side of the bracket.
After the game, Devils head coach Bob Cohn said the lack of timely hits was to blame for the loss.
“We just couldn’t get hits when we needed to,” Cohn said. “We scores early but after that the hits just weren’t coming at the right time.”
The loss disappointing for his team, Cohn told his team that they need to perform now more than ever.
“They’re upset at the loss, but now they gotta come back out and show they can win. They know they’re a tough, experienced team. They just gotta go out there and hit and bring some runs home.”