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Senior pitcher Kelly Harrington delivers a pitch during a recent St. Croix Central game.

St. Croix Central softball stopped by Osceola

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The St. Croix Central softball team had been hitting the ball with authority in recent games, but the Panthers couldn't string together any hits in their WIAA Division 2 tournament game at Osceola last Thursday.

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The Panthers were limited to five hits and no runs as their season came to an end with an 8-0 loss to the Chieftains.

This actually won't be the end of the Panther season. Because the Panthers lost so many games to the wintry weather conditions this spring, Coach Mindy Rudiger is trying to add games this week to give the girls more of a season. The Panthers were scheduled to host New Richmond for a game on Tuesday and she was hopeful they would get to play a game against Boyceville after their regular season games with the Bulldogs were rained out.

Osceola scored four runs in the first inning on Thursday to take charge right away. The Panthers didn't give up any more big innings, but they couldn't make any headway into Osceola's lead.

"They're a good team," Rudiger said of the tournament opponent. "We put the ball in play and they made all the plays."

The Panthers finished their Dunn-St. Croix Conference season last Tuesday by facing state-ranked Pepin for a pair of games. The Panthers played solidly under difficult conditions, losing 9-4 and 11-0.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers learned of the deaths of two fellow SCC students. Rudiger said the girls maintained their composure to play under the difficult circumstances.

"These girls aren't supposed to have to deal with stuff like that," Rudiger said. She said the coaches tried to offer support for the players in any way they could.

Rudiger said she was proud of how the Panthers battled, especially in the first game. Central scored twice in the first inning and then they added two more runs in the third inning. After three innings, Pepin's lead was only 6-4.

Senior Kali Armagost homered for the Panthers in the first game and Marissa Arthur went 2-3 at the plate.

The Panthers were limited to two hits in the second game, singles by Ella Scott and Kelly Harrington.

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