4/18/2019 3:33:00 PM Junker wins low-scoring duel with Pilz as CL beats NB
Chisago Lakes 2, North Branch 0 Fans of the Wildcat and Viking girls’ softball teams were treated to an early season pitcher’s duel Tuesday, April 9. Wildcat stating pitcher Trinity Junker and Viking starting pitcher Kristi Pilz each gave up just three hits in seven innings of work. The difference in the game was a two-run single by Wildcat Jessica Bergerson in the sixth inning to account for all of the runs as the Wildcats shut out the Vikings 2-0.
Natalie Thornburg walked to lead off the top of the sixth for the Wildcats. Junker singled to move Thornburg to second. Kaitlyn Istvanovich grounded back to Pilz, whose only play was at first base. The runners, who had gotten a good jump, moved up to third and second. Bergerson then lined a sharp single to the right of second base to score both runners.
The Vikings’ best scoring chance cam in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mckenzie Richter led off with a single. The next two batters struck out. With Richter still at first, Maci Brodin stepped up to the plate and hit a double to deep center. Richter tried to score all the way from first, but was thrown out at the plate and the game remained scoreless.
Junker hasn’t allowed a run in her first two games this season. In this one, she gave up three hits, walked two and struck out six to claim the victory. Pilz took the loss. She allowed two earned runs on three hits, walked six and struck out five.
Wildcat head coach Brenda Carlson said “I give our outfield kudos in this game. None of them were starters last season. In this game, they made shoestring catches and over the shoulder catches to help keep North Branch from scoring, And Trinity owned them She sometimes throws better in warmer weather, but the cold didn’t seem to bother her. And she and Kaitlyn work so well together as pitcher and catcher, which sometimes can get over looked. But it’s a huge factor in our success.”
Softball Stuff Three Wildcat games last week were cancelled due to the late-season snow. This past Monday’s Wildcat game with Cambridge-Isanti was also cancelled, supposedly because the Bluejackets hadn’t had a chance to practice outside yet. The real reason was more likely that the Bluejackets wanted no part of the Wildcats this early in the season after the Wildcats started off by shutting out two state tournament teams from last season.
The Wildcats (3-0) have four games in the next six days – today at home, Buffalo at 4:30 p.m.; Monday, April 22 a home doubleheader with Grand Rapids and Duluth Denfeld starting at 1 p.m.; and Tuesday, April 23 away at St. Michael-Albertville starting at 4:30 p.m.
For the Vikings. last Thursday’s game against St. Francis was postponed. The Vikings (1-2) will host Monticello tonight at 4:30 p.m., and head to Big Lake to take on the Hornets Tuesday, April 23 at 4:30.