April 23, 2009 at 8:19 a.m.
The Wildcats scored 17 runs on 17 hits, all singles, as they rolled over the St. Louis Park Orioles 17-1 last Tuesday, April 14 at St. Louis Park. The game was shortened to six innings because of the ten-run rule. Starting pitcher Kasey Eichten allowed one unearned run in sixth innings for her first varsity win and first complete game.
Everyone got in on the action in this one as 11 Wildcats recorded hits. Six players had two hits apiece, including Amanda Houle, Rachel Nelson, Lisa Schommer, Taylor Russell, Claire Habel and Shannon Monson. The Wildcats led 6-0 after three and 9-1 after five before exploding in the sixth with eight runs on eight hits, a walk and three Oriole errors. Eichten had a strong outing, striking out twelve while allowing just two hits and walking one.
Wildcat head coach Herb Jangor said "The nice thing about Kasey's outing was that when she needed to pitch a strike, she did. When she lost the shutout, she settled down and shut St. Louis Park down for the rest of the game. When she goes to a 3-0 count on a batter now, she's more likely to battle back and get the out."
Chisago Lakes 6, Benilde-St. Margaret's 4
The Wildcats broke open a 1-1 tie with Benilde with five runs in the sixth inning. The Red Knights rallied for three runs of their own in the top of the seventh, but the batter representing the tying run popped out to first to end the game. The Wildcats breathed a sigh of relief as they came away with a 6-4 win over the Red Knights in the first game of a doubleheader last Thursday, April 16 at Chisago Lakes.
The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the first. Amanda Houle singled, stole second and scored on Rachel Nelson's single. The Red Knights tied it up in the top of the fourth and that was all of the scoring until the Wildcats got to the plate in the bottom of the sixth.
Ashley Oehme led off the inning with a single, moved up on an error and scored on Danielle Tossey's single. Another error allowed Tossey to move up, and she scored on Mallory Schneider's single. Schneider stole second. Two outs later, Houle singled to drive in Schneider and make it 4-1. Houle moved to second on an error and scored on Rachel Nelson's singled. Taylor Russell came in as a courtesy runner for starting pitcher Nelson and promptly stole second. Lisa Schommer singled to score Russell and give the Wildcats a seemingly comfortable 6-1 lead.
The Red Knights weren't about to give up. The first two batters reached base in the top of the seventh on an error and a walk. Nelson struck out the next two. But the next hitter blasted a three-run homer to straightaway center to cut the Wildcat lead to 6-4. The next batter singled, but the aforementioned pop out ended the game and kept the Wildcats undefeated in the North Suburban conference.
Nelson allowed one earned run on six hits while striking out 5 and walking one to improve her record to 4-0 on the season. Nelson and Houle had three hits apiece to lead the Wildcats' 10 hit attack.
"Last year, Benilde knocked in key runs when they needed to," said Wildcat head coach Herb Jangor. "For five innings in this one, neither team could get that key hit. In the sixth, we finally came through and got the big inning when we needed it. Our seniors got some key hits in this one. We made some big plays and Rachel pitched us out of every threat they had in the first five innings. In the sixth, we allowed two errors and a walk, a pinch hitter smacks a home run an all of a sudden it's 6-4. Hopefully, the kids learned the game is not over till it's over. The defending conference champs aren't just going to quit."
Chisago Lakes 7, Benilde-St. Margaret's 0
Lisa Schommer and Kasey Eichten drove in two runs apiece, as Eichten and starter Rachel Nelson combined to shut out the Red Knights 7-0 in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 18 at Chisago Lakes.
Mackenzie Turk led off the bottom of the second inning with a single. Eichten's grounder forced Turk at second. Shannon Monson and Amanda Houle each singled to lead the bases. Eichten scored on Rachel Nelson's grounder. Schommer singled up the middle to score two more and give the Wildcats an early 3-0 lead. In the third, a walk to Danielle Tossey and singles by Malory Schneider and Turk loaded the bases with no outs. Eichten doubled to left to score two. Monson then laid down a nice bunt to score courtesy runner Jill Sontag from third to put the Wildcats up 7-0.
Nelson and Eichten combined to strike out seven, allow just four hits and no walks as Nelson improved her record to 5-0 on the season. The Wildcats piled up 15 hits in this one. Eichten led the way with three, and five Wildcats had two hits a piece - Houle, Nelson, Lisa Schommer, Turk and Monson.
"We were able to knock in some runs when we needed to in this one," said Wildcat head coach Herb Jangor. "We got a nice game on the mound and at the plate from Kasey. Rachel continues to hit the ball well and it's nice to see Mackenzie get some hits. A lot of credit for our success this season goes to assistant coaches Todd MacIver and Matt Mitchell. MacIver has been working with the hitters and does an outstanding job calling pitches during the games. Mitchell does a little bit of everything to keep us going and knows how to pick up the kids' spirits at the right time. Additionally, our role players have done a great job being supportive from the bench and contributing on the field when called upon. I'm proud of the kids for pulling for each other. Those things - help from the assistants and support from the role players - in addition to the good play we've gotten from our starters, add up to explain the success we've had so far this season and should help us as we come into the tough part of our schedule."
The Wildcats (6-1 overall, 5-0 conference) have just two games this week. They were scheduled to travel to Irondale on Tuesday to take on the undefeated Knights. Tonight, they'll host North Suburban conference powerhouse Spring Lake Park at 4 p.m. at the varsity softball field at 4 p.m. The Panthers trail the first place Wildcats by just a half-game in the standings.
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