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home : sports : sports
July 3, 2022

5/6/2022 10:59:00 AM
Chisago Lakes climbs to second in state, loses to top-ranked Scarlets

Chisago Lakes 11, Cambridge-Isanti 0 (5 innings)
Anna Zaruba pitched a one-hitter and Ashley Mandell hit her first career home run as the Wildcats crushed the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets 11-0 in  game shortened to five innings because of the ten-run rule.

The Wildcats scored five runs in the top of the first inning and continued to build their lead by scoring two runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings.  Meanwhile, Zaruba struck out seven and the only baserunner she allowed was a third inning single.  And everyone got in on the offensive explosion for the Wildcats.  Eight Wildcats had at least one hit, eight Wildcats drove in at least one run and seven Wildcats scored at least one run.  In addition to Mandell’s home run, the Wildcats had four other extra base hits among their ten hits.  Melanie Anderson tripled, Zaruba double twice and Melana Larson also had a double.

Mankato West Tournament
Chisago Lakes 11, Apple Valley 0 (5 innings)
Ashley Mandell pitched a perfect game, striking out nine batters, as the Wildcats crushed the Apple Valley Eagles in the opening game of the Mankato West tournament Saturday, April 23 at Mankato West High School.  Mandell also led with her bat, going four-for-four with the three doubles and four RBIs.

Not one ball hit by the Eagles got as far as the outfield.  The Wildcat defense gets an assist on the perfect game.  Wildcat head coach Brenda Carlson said “Ashley is the first one to tell you that the defense kept her perfect game going.  There were two balls hit hard, but our defense made the plays.  She gives us a fighting chance every time she is out there.”
Greta Gillach, Leah Zaruba, Anna Zaruba and Melanie Anderson had two hits apiece.  Anna Zaruba and Tianna Ritter each drove in two runs.  Ritter had the game’s only triple.  Both of Gillach’s hits were doubles, and Leah Zaruba, Anna Zaruba and Anderson each doubled once.

Chisago Lakes 4, New Ulm 0
The Wildcats scored three times in the top of the first inning and Anna Zaruba pitched her second straight one-hit shutout as the Wildcats beat the New Ulm Eagles 4-0 in the semifinals of the Mankato West Tournament.  Zaruba walked one and struck out seven as she dominated the New Ulm batters.

Gillach singled to lead off the game.  She stole second and went to third on a wild pitch.  Leah Zaruba walked.  After Ashley Mandell struck out, Anna Zaruba hit a fly ball to right that was dropped by the right fielder.  Gillach scored and Leah Zaruba went to second.  Melana Larson’s bunt scored Leah Zaruba and Melanie Anderson singled to drive in Anna Zaruba to put the Wildcats up 3-0.

The Wildcats added another run in the fourth.  Brooklyn Nelson led off the inning with a walk and went to second on a passed ball.  Two outs later, she scored from second when Gillach reached on an error.  Four runs were more than enough for the Wildcats on a day of domination by Anna Zaruba.

Mankato West 1, Chisago Lakes 0
The Mankato West Scarlets, who finished third in last year’s state tournament, scored an unearned run in the first inning and it proved to be enough as the Scarlets shut out the Wildcats 1-0 in the championship game of the Mankato West Tournament.  The Wildcats managed just four baserunners in the game, with two of them getting as far as second.  Ashley Mandell went the distance for the Wildcats, allowing one unearned run on five hits.  She walked three and struck out ten.

In the bottom of the first, a one-out single and a passed ball put a runner on second base.  Mandell struck out the next batter.  The batter after that singled to drive in the runner from second base and made the score 1-0.  For the Wildcats, Mandell singled with two outs in the first and went to second on a wild pitch but was stranded there.  Greta Gillach singled with two outs in the third but was thrown out trying to steal second.  The Wildcats’ best chance to score came in the top of the fourth.  Leah Zaruba led of with a single.  She went to second on a Mandell’s groundout.  Anna Zaruba hit a ground ball to short.  As the shortstop threw to first, Leah Zaruba bolted toward third but was cut down by the relay throw from the first baseman, ending the inning.  Melanie Anderson walked with two outs in the fifth but was stranded there.  And that was it.

Chisago Lakes 4, Monticello 0
The Wildcats scored four runs with two outs in the fourth inning and freshman Anna Zaruba pitched her third straight shutout as the Wildcats beat the Monticello Magic 4-0 Tuesday, April 26 at Chisago Lakes High School.  Zaruba allowed just two hits, didn’t walk anybody, and struck out eight in another dominating performance.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Courtney Preston tripled to drive in Melana Larson from first base.  Greta Gillach followed with a run-scoring single.  Leah Zaruba singled to put runners on first and second.  Ashley Mandell doubled to score Gillach, and an error by the right fielder allowed Leah Zaruba to cross the plate, making the score 4-0, giving Anna Zaruba and the Wildcat defense more than enough runs.

Chisago Lakes 14, St. Francis 1 (5 innings)
There wasn’t much fight in the St. Francis Fighting Saints when they travelled to Chisago Lakes High School to take on the Wildcats  Wednesday, April 27.  Maybe it was a tough bus ride.  Whatever the reason, the Wildcats accumulated 15 hits – 14 of them singles – and beat the Fighting Saints 14-1 in a game shortened to five innings because of the ten-run rule.  Ashley Mandell continued the Wildcats’ domination on the mound, allowing just one hit.  She walked two and struck out six.

The Wildcats put this one way out of reach early, scoring six runs in each of the first two innings.  Six Wildcats had two hits apiece: Leah Zaruba, Ashley Mandell, Melanie Anderson, Brooklyn Nelson, Melana Larson, and Tiana Ritter.  Four players drove in two runs each:   Leah Zaruba, Mandell, Courtney Preston, and Ritter.

Chisago Lakes 3, Becker 0
Ashley Mandell allowed just one hit and struck out eight to lead the Wildcats to a 3-0 shutout over the Becker Bulldogs, last season’s Class AAA state champions, Thursday, April 28 at Chisago Lakes High School.  The Wildcats had eight hits, with two each coming from the top four batters in the lineup – Greta Gillach, Leah Zaruba, Mandell, and Anna Zaruba.

Back-to-back two-out doubles by Mandell and Anna Zaruba in the bottom of the first gave the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.  In the bottom of the fifth, Gillach singled with two outs, went all the way to third on a single by Leah Zaruba and scored on a single by Mandell to make the score 2-0.  The Wildcats nearly put themselves in a bind in the top of the sixth.  A two-out error, a single that broke up Mandell’s potential no-hitter and another error loaded the bases.  But Mandell got the next batter to fly out to second to end the Bulldog threat. 

In the bottom of the inning, Anna Zaruba singled, went to second when Melanie Anderson walked and scored on two wild pitches push the Wildcat lead to 3-0.  After the first Bulldog batter in the top of the seventh reached on an error. Mandell struck out the next two and got the last batter to ground out right back to her to seal the win.

Chisago Lakes 10, Princeton 1
Courtney Preston and Melanie Anderson hit home runs to lead the Wildcats 16-hit attack as they crushed the Princeton Tigers 10-1 Friday, April 29 at Chisago Lakes High School.  Anna Zaruba allowed six hits, no walks and struck out four to pick up the win.

The home runs bookended a prolific offensive output for the Wildcats.  Anderson hit a two-run homer in the first, and Preston drove in the last two runs with a two-run blast in the sixth.  Anderson, Preston, and Allison Gregory had three hits apiece.  Leah Zaruba and Ashley Mandell each had two hits.  And four Wildcats doubled – Mandell, Greta Gillach, Sam Johnson, and Anderson.

Chisago Lakes 3, Becker 1
Greta Gillach put on quite a show against last year’s state champs, going three-for-three and scoring all three of her team’s runs as the Wildcats beat the Becker Bulldogs 3-1 Monday, May 2 at Becker High School.  Ashley Mandell scattered seven hits, didn’t walk anybody, and struck out seven to record the win.

In the top of the first, Gillach led off with a single to right and came all the way around to score on an error by the right fielder.  The Bulldogs tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third on a double, a wild pitch, and a groundout to short.  Gillach singled to open the top of the fifth and went all the way to third on Leah Zaruba’s groundout to third.  The speedy Gillach scored on Ashley Mandell’s deep popout to first base to put the Wildcats up 2-1.  Gillach was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the seventh.  Leah Zaruba sacrificed her to second.  One out later, Anna Zaruba got a hit to drive in Gillach from second to give the Wildcats a bit more cushion at 3-1.  Mandell allowed a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh but struck out the next batter looking on three pitches to seal the Wildcat win.

Softball Stuff
The Wildcats (11-1) are ranked second in the state in Class AAA, trailing only the Mankato West Scarlets – who handed the Wildcats their only loss so far this season, 1-0 at the Mankato West tournament a couple of weeks ago.
The Wildcats will take a bit of a pause in a very busy spring, with just one game in the next seven days.  They will host the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets Tuesday, May 10 at 5 p.m. at Chisago Lakes High School.


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