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COLLEGE SOFTBALL

Olivia Graham was up to her old tricks Saturday. The lone sophomore on the Central Lakes College Raiders struck out four and allowed just three hits and no walks leading to a 22-0 Game One win over Mesabi. Ashley Erickson did her part in helping ...

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Olivia Graham was up to her old tricks Saturday.
The lone sophomore on the Central Lakes College Raiders struck out four and allowed just three hits and no walks leading to a 22-0 Game One win over Mesabi.
Ashley Erickson did her part in helping CLC earn a 13-5 Game Two victory.

CLC pitcher Olivia Graham throws a three-hit shutout.

She's just a little stronger this year, said Raiders head coach Bob Sullivan about Graham. She lifted weights during the offseason, plus, she picked up a drop ball and a rise ball. She has two new pitchers in her arsenal and that's helping her.
While Graham didn't need a whole lot of help, she got it from her teammates' bats.
Larissa Luther started things off with a first inning grand slam. She finished 3-for-5 with three runs, four RBIs and a triple. Steph Neugebauer was 3-4 with three doubles, two runs and five RBIs and Brittany Gravelle was 4-4 with three runs and an RBI.
The bats are coming alive, said Sullivan. The pitchers weren't as quick as we have faced before, but the girls are getting smarter at the plate and they are more confident.
CLC belted out 22 hits in the first game and pounded out 12 more in the second.
Tika Klauck finished 2-3 with a double, triple, two runs and four RBIs. Gravelle went 3-4 and Erickson helped herself by going 2-3 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.
On the mound the former Little Falls Flyer struck out three, walked three and allowed four earned runs in five innings of work.
She's getting stronger all the time, Sullivan said. She's more comfortable and settling in. She's starting to believe she can play at this level.
CLC improves to 8-0 in the division, but host a feisty Itasca team Monday, which Sullivan believes is the toughest test toward a North Division title.
Itasca always brings a real good team, said Sullivan. It won't be easy. It's probably a little early to worry about the division championship, but it will probably come down to the two of us. We're hoping for a good crowd because we need to get these next two at home.

Game one
Mesabi 0 3 4
Central Lakes 22 22 1
WP: Olivia Graham. LP: Peterson. 2B: Neugebauer 3, Ashly Erickson, Tiffany Dixon, Tika Klauck. 3B: Larissa Luther. HR: Luther.
Game two
Mesabi 5 9 4
Central Lakes 13 12 1
WP: Ashly Erickson. LP: Falles. 2B: Hannah Wagner, Erickson 2, Carissa Utsch, Klauck, Chelsey Sorensen. 3B: Dixon, Klauck. Division: CLC 8-0. Overall: CLC 14-6. Next game: Central Lakes hosts Itasca 3 p.m. Monday.

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