May 6, 2010 at 9:52 a.m.
Spring Lake Park 7, Chisago Lakes 0
The Wildcats struggled a lot in last week's doubleheader at conference foe and eighth-ranked Spring Lake Park. The Wildcats committed 12 errors and the Panthers won by the nearly identical scores of 7-1 in the first game and 7-0 in the nightcap.
In game one, pitcher Rachel Nelson gave up a season-high 12 hits, struck out five and walked two. But only three of the seven runs scored against her were earned as the porous Wildcat defense committed five errors. One positive sign for the Wildcats were the seven hits they collected against Spring Lake Park pitcher Sara DuPaul. DuPaul threw two perfect games and a no-hitter against other teams last week, and is one of the top pitchers in the state.
The Wildcats scored their only run of the game in the fifth inning, with Nelson helping her own cause. Danielle Tossey walked, advanced to third on Mallory Schneider's single to right center and scored on Nelson's single. Kasey Eichten picked up two of the Wildcats' seven hits in the game.
In game two, Kayla Checkalski spoiled DuPaul's bid for a no-hitter by singling with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. The Wildcat defense once again failed to show up, committing seven errors. Starting pitcher Kasey Eichten gave up ten hits, struck out four and walked none. Only four of the seven runs scored against Eichten were earned.
Chisago Lakes 7, St. Cloud Apollo 3
The Wildcats scored seven runs on just four hits as they beat error-prone St. Cloud Apollo 7-3 in the opening game of the Becker Tournament last Saturday, May 1.
The Wildcats did most of their scoring early. Amanda Houle, Laura Monson and starting pitcher Kasey Eichten all reached first with no outs in the top of the first inning and all three scored. The inning featured one error and stolen bases by Houle and Monson. In the third, Eichten reached on an error, Kayla Checkalski singled and Mackenzie Turk walked to load the bases with one out. The Wildcats ended up scoring three runs again in the inning, with Apollo committing three errors to help them along. The final run came in the fifth. Turk singled to lead off the inning. Courtesy runner Jen Hurst stole second and third and scored two outs later on a ball hit by Claire Habel.
Rachel Nelson pitched well for4 the Wildcats, allowing just three hits, striking out five and walking two. One of the three runs scored against her was unearned.
Mound-Westonka 3, Chisago Lakes 0
Pitcher Kasey Eichten did everything she could against Mound-Westonka in the tournament semifinal game. She allowed just four hits, struck out six and walked none. Unfortunately, she gave up three runs, all unearned, as the White Hawks shut out the Wildcat offense and came away with a 3-0 victory.
The White Hawk leadoff hitter singled in the top of the first. Two outs later, it looked like the Wildcats were gong to get out of the inning unscathed. But an error allowed the cleanup hitter to reach second. Both runners scored when the next batter singled, and Mound-Westonka led 2-0 after one. An error and a double led to the White Hawks' other run, scored in the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, the White Hawk pitcher baffled the Wildcat hitters and flirted with a perfect game. Claire Habel singled with one out in the sixth for the Wildcats' only hit and only baserunner of the game. Ten Wildcats struck out, and the only balls they hit out of the infield besides Habel's hit were two fly ball outs in the top of the seventh.
Totino Grace 3, Chisago Lakes 1
Pitcher Rachel Nelson deserved a better fate. She gave up just three hits, struck out four and walked two against Totino Grace in the final game of the Becker Tournament. But Wildcat errors led to two unearned runs, and the Wildcats lost 3-1.
The Eagles used a walk, a wild pitch and a single to score the first run of the game in the third inning. The Wildcats tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. Kayla Checkalski, the Wildcats' most consistent hitter of late, doubled to left with one out. She moved to third on a single by Danielle Tossey and scored on Mallory Schneider's squeeze bunt to tie the game at 1-1.
In the fifth, Shannon Monson singled with one out. But she was caught stealing a couple of pitches later, and proved to be the Wildcats' last baserunner of the game. The Eagles went ahead in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. A one-out walk and some miscues in the field put the Eagles back ahead, 2-1. They added an insurance run in the sixth. The first batter of the inning reached base when the Wildcats dropped a fly ball and scored one out later on a double.
The Wildcats had six baserunners for the game, including three hits, two who reached on errors and one fielder's choice. They struck out eleven times.
The Wildcats (4-7 overall, 3-4 conference) will play conference opponent Irondale tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at Chisago Lakes High School.