May 14, 2004 at 10:51 a.m.
Chisago Lakes 3
The Wildcats went through it all last week. A one a loss, a 10-run win, and a nine run loss. Try and find a pattern in that mess.
The one run loss came on May 3rd when the Wildcats hit the road to face Foley. Both teams settled into a pitching duel for the first three innings, keeping the game scoreless. Finally, in the top of the fourth, the Wildcats made their move.
Batting with the bases loaded, eighth-grader Ariel Novak cleared them with a triple, catapulting Chisago to a 3-0 lead. Considering how Sarah Ploog was pitching on the mound, a three run lead was pretty safe, wasn’t it?
“I thought it was,” said Steve Fisher, Chisago Lakes head softball coach. “I thought we were looking pretty good at that point.”
Looks can be deceiving. In the bottom of the fourth, Foley charged back with three runs of their own including a home run. To make matters worse, the Falcons were helped out by two Wildcats errors. Two of the three runs scored were unearned.
“That was huge for them, especially with that home run over the fence,” remarked Fisher. “A couple of unearned runs, a stolen base, the middle to bottom of their order just killed us. They got four of their six hits. It was huge for them to answer like that.”
It turned a loss into a win, because the very next inning, Foley added their fourth run of the game, moving in front 4-3. Despite having runners on second and third in the seventh, Chisago never could push across the tying run, losing 4-3. The loss dropped the ‘Cats record to 7-5 on the season.
“We had our shot with two outs. We had a shot a few times but we could never get that clutch hit. Sometimes that’s the way things go,” replied Fisher. “Coming back is the sign of a good team, you have to answer. They did so you have to tip your hat to them.”
For the game, the Wildcats finished with six hits, however, only one came from their first four hitters. As a matter of fact, batters one through four combined to go 1-15 in the game.
“That doesn’t bode to well,” commented Fisher. “Important spots in the order need to step up and right now they’re not doing it.”
On the mound, Ploog was credited with the loss, falling to 2-4 on the year.
Chisago Lakes 3
Chisago Lakes 000 300 0 3 6
Foley 000 310 X 4 6
Cunningham 2-3, R
Young 0-3, R
Reineccius 0-2, R
Novak 1-3, 3 RBI
LP: Ploog (2-4)
6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, ER, 2 K
Chisago Lakes 12
Last Thursday, the ‘Cats offensive woes subsided, knocking out 11 hits and 12 runs en route to a 12-2 win over Princeton.
Eight of those 12 runs came in the fourth inning....on two hits!
Leading 1-0 at the time, the Wildcats began the top of the fourth with Katie Reed reaching on an error. Two errors, two force-outs, two hits, and a walk later, the ‘Cats had eight runs on the board.
“It was ugly,” smiled Fisher. “They just couldn’t get us out. It seemed liked every time they had a chance to make a play, something would happen to extend the inning.”
The Wildcats will take it. After Princeton came back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, the ‘Cats finished the game with three more runs on RBI’s by Tara Walbridge and Ariel Novak. Novak’s RBI came in the seventh, pushing the Chisago lead to 12-2. Wildcat starter Whitney Slagerman capped off her complete game win in the bottom of the seventh.
“It wasn’t a bad game for us,” remarked Fisher. “We had a couple of days there to work on some things after that loss to Foley. We came back pretty decent. And we got some hits, that was nice to see.”
Novak led the Chisago hitting attack with three hits while Reed and Walbridge added two. As for Slagerman, the super sophomore struck out six, earning her sixth win of the season.
Chisago Lakes 12
Chisago Lakes 001 802 1 12 11
Princeton 000 200 0 2 6
Reed 2-4, 2 R
Ploog 1-5, 2 R
Baumgard 1-4, R
Walbridge 2-3, RBI, R
Young 0-3, R
Reineccius 1-3, R
Wilke 0-2, R
Oehme 0-1, R
Novak 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 R
WP: Slagerman (6-1)
7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 6 K
Chisago Lakes 1
After the game, Steve Fisher was trying to remember the last time his team took such a, in his words, “butt-kicking.”
He couldn’t remember one.
Last Monday, the conference leading St. Michael-Albertville Knights traveled to town and took batting practice on Chisago Lakes, pounding out 10 runs on 17 hits. Every thing they saw, they hit.
“They hit the snot out of the ball. They were solid hits too, no bloops,” said Fisher. “They were shots. They spanked the ball hard. From left, to center, to right, they hit the ball every where.”
Meanwhile, the Wildcats couldn’t answer, scoring one run on nine hits. However, most of those hits came in separate innings. The lone Chisago run came on a Morgan Baumgard RBI single. Unfortunately, with runners at first and second with one out, Rachel Nelson followed that with a blast to center. The Knights centerfielder made a diving catch, then doubled off Sarah Ploog at second to end the rally.
“If that would’ve dropped, it probably would’ve tied it up but you never really know,” commented Fisher. “Anytime something like that happens it’s a momentum changer. You finally get a couple of hits together and you don’t get anything out of it. It’s frustrating, but what do you do?”
While the win for St. Michael virtually wrapped up the conference title, the loss dropped the Wildcats conference mark to 5-5 with three league games left. This week, Chisago hosts Mora on Thursday before taking part in the Eastview tournament on Saturday.
No box score reported.