Panthers rally to get first win, beating cadott 16-15
The St. Croix Central team came up with a couple big hits in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 16-15 win over Cadott last Friday.
This non-conference game was the first win of the season for the Panthers.
The Panthers went into the seventh inning trailing 15-14. Annette Zwald led off the seventh with a walk. After a flyball out, Marie Nelson put down a sacrifice bunt that moved Zwald to second base.
Justina Bisch then ripped a double down the leftfield line to score Zwald and tie the game.
Freshman Ella Olson then drove a shot down the rightfield line. Her triple chased home Bisch with the winning run.
Olson and Bisch led the Panthers in their best hitting attack of the young season. Olson went 5-5 at the plate and Bisch was 4-5. With the batters in front of them finding ways to get on base, this part of the Central batting order was productive all through the game.
Criego has struggled a bit with her control in these early games, but coach Brian Daniel said he expects her control to continually improve. Criego is one of the smallest pitchers around in stature.
"For her size she throws pretty good," Daniel said. "You don't see hitters pulling her pitches."
Friday's win came following a pair of losses against strong opponents in the Panthers' first two games of the season. The Panthers were no-hit in a 12-0 loss at Mondovi last Thursday. The Panthers opened their season last Tuesday, playing at Baldwin-Woodville. The Panthers produced nine runs, but they couldn't keep pace with the Blackhawks, who won 21-9.
Daniel said one area where the Panthers had problems was getting the third out in opponents' big innings. He said in most of the innings where their opponents scored, the Panthers got two quick outs, but walks or errors allowed the opponent to roll up a big inning.
The Panthers return five upperclassmen, meaning the team is pretty young. Criego is the only senior on the team, with Bisch, Nelson, Jessi Gillis and Jill Hawkins as the juniors on the roster.
There are promising numbers of sophomores and freshmen in the program. Daniel, in his first season as the Central coach, said he sees the team continuing to grow stronger in the next few years.
"The team is young and they are coming around," Daniel said.
There are 14 JV games on the Panther schedule, so those young players should get plenty of exposure this season.
Olson is one of the young players making an immediate impact. It's rare when a freshman can step into a varsity position, much less catching, which is one of the most demanding roles on the team.
"She's had three solid games for us," Daniel said.
After a string of road games, the Panthers will be playing at home this Thursday, facing Boyceville. The Panthers are back on the road next Tuesday, playing at Elmwood.
St. Croix Central 16, Cadott 15
Nelson cf 3-2-2, Roth ss 3-2-1, Arneson c 5-3-1, Anrupy p 5-3-1, Schafer 3b 5-2-1, Roberts lf 5-3-1, Romanowski 1b 4-3-4, Albrecht rf 4-1-2, Sonnetag 2b 3-2-2. Totals 37-21-15.
ST. CROIX CENTRAL (16)
Hawkins ss 5-0-0, Nelson 3b 2-2-3, Bisch cf 5-4-4, Olson c 5-5-2, Criego p 2-0-1, Gillis rf 4-1-1, Brown lf 4-1-1, fedie 1b 4-3-2, J.Nelson 1b 0-0-0, Grossaint 2b 2-1-0, Zwald 2b 1-1-2. Totals 34-18-16.
2B-Bisch 2. 3B-Olson. RBI-Bisch 2, Olson 4, Criego, Gillis, Brown.
Cadott 010 347 0=15
St. Croix Central 210 236 2=16
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
St. Croix Central
Criego (W) 7 21 15 10 6 2