Tie turns around the St. Croix Central softball seasonThe St. Croix Central softball team badly needed a spark. Lightning may have delivered it on Saturday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The St. Croix Central softball team badly needed a spark. Lightning may have delivered it on Saturday.
The Panthers were a team desperately in need of something that would turn around their fortunes. Six runs in the final two innings in their game on Saturday against Somerset was just what the team needed. Those runs tied the game at 6-6. The game went into extra innings, but lightning strikes soon forced the umpires to call the game as a tie in the eighth inning.
The tie put a halt to the Panthers’ six-game losing streak. It also changed the team’s attitude.
When the Panthers took the field Monday against Elmwood, they looked re-energized. They scored three runs in the first inning and played a strong overall game in winning 6-4.
Instead of being the team making the mistakes, the Panthers forced Elmwood into mistakes. The Panthers’ first three baserunners of the game all reached on Elmwood errors. Hits from Shelby Thomley and Kali Lawrence capped the three-run first inning.
The Panthers took advantage of more Elmwood mistakes to score two runs in the third inning. Kalli Armagost was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Kelly Harrington followed with a walk. Thomley continued her hot hitting with the second of her three hits, a double that scored Armagost. Harrington scored on an Elmwood throwing error.
The final Panther run was scored in the fifth inning. Arinn DiSalvo singled to start the inning. She scored when Armagost launched a high-arcing double to the rightfield power alley.
Elmwood scored late in the game, but the Panthers made the necessary defensive plays to finish off the win.
Harrington pitched the complete game win, giving up nine hits and two walks while striking out five.
The tie with Somerset was the result of an offensive revival for the Panthers. The Panthers had baserunners in every inning, but it wasn’t until the sixth that they got some of them home.
The Panthers scored four times in the sixth inning, including a two-run double by Thomley that smacked off the outfield fence.
DiSalvo started the two-run rally in the seventh inning with a leadoff double. Amanda Ruvelson, Armagost and Thomley also singled in the rally.
The Panthers lost their opening game on Saturday to a powerful Hudson team. The Raiders, coached by former Central assistant coach Jim Revoir, beat the Panthers 16-2.
The Panthers hope they can turn their revitalized play into more wins. They will play at Glenwood City this Thursday. Their next home game is Monday, when Boyceville visits.