St. Croix Central softball team continues its streaky playThe hot-and-cold St. Croix Central softball team is stuck in one of its cooler streaks of the season.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The hot-and-cold St. Croix Central softball team is stuck in one of its cooler streaks of the season.
The Panthers started the season with two wins, before losing the next three games. They just completed another cycle of winning two games, then losing the next three. The third of those losses came Monday, when the Panthers lost at Mondovi 6-4.
When the Panthers go into their cold streaks, it seems that bad things befall them at the worst times. In the top of the sixth inning, the Panthers had runners on second and third with no outs, but they couldn’t get any of the runners home. Those runs would have been huge for the Panthers, who held a 4-2 lead at the time.
In the bottom of the sixth, Panther pitcher Kelly Harrington retired the first two Mondovi batters. The next batter reached on a dropped flyball. That was the start of a four-run rally that turned the game in Mondovi’s favor.
“We can’t buy a break right now,” said Central coach Jim Anderson. “Good teams make their own breaks.”
The Panthers did some nice things in the early innings to get the lead. They scored twice in the second inning when Kelsey McKenna singled home Shelby Thomley and Heidi Feyereisen. They got another run in the third when Harrington singled home Amanda Ruvelson. In the fourth, the Panthers produced their fourth run on singles by McKenna and Arinn DiSalvo.
The Panthers outhit Mondovi 11-6, but errors sank the Panthers.
Last Thursday the Panthers suffered a 9-1 loss to Colfax. This was the first time Central has lost to Colfax since Anderson took over as head coach eight years ago. Colfax scored four times in the first inning on two hits, two walks and two Panther errors. The Panthers never seemed to recover. Colfax added four more runs in the fourth inning.
The only Central run was scored in the fifth inning. Kali Lawrence led off with a single, later scoring on Kalli Armagost’s sacrifice fly.
Central was limited to five hits in the loss.
Last Tuesday the Panthers were limited to one run again, this time in a 7-1 non-conference loss to Ellsworth. This was the low point for the Central offense this season. In just one of the seven innings, the Panthers had more than three batters go to the plate. That was in the fifth inning, when they scored their run. Harrington led off the inning with a walk. She scored on Feyereisen’s single, the second Panther hit of the game.
Ellsworth didn’t pound the ball, outside of a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning. The leaky Central defense caused five of Ellsworth’s seven runs to be unearned.
Central will try to shake off the losing streak this Thursday, when they play at Spring Valley-Plum City. On Saturday the Panthers will host a quad tournament, with Central scheduled to face Hudson and Somerset during the tournament. The varsity tournament begins at 10 a.m. and the junior varsity tournament starts at 9 a.m.
Next week starts with a home game on Monday against Elmwood. The Panthers will be on the road Tuesday, facing Dunn-St. Croix Conference leader Pepin.