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NR gets its best test of season

The best test yet this season for the undefeated New Richmond softball team came Monday afternoon in Somerset.

The Tigers seemed secure with a 7-1 lead midway through the sixth inning. But the Spartans rumbled back, scoring three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh. The Tigers then scored once in the top of the eighth inning to steal away with an 8-7 win.

The win raises the Tigers' season record to 11-0 and 9-0 in the Middle Border Conference. Somerset is 3-6 in the MBC and 5-6 overall.

Crystal Skramstad led off the Tiger eighth with a walk and moved to second on Jessie Johnston's sacrifice bunt. After another walk, Ashlyne Anderson ripped a 3-0 pitch up the middle for a run-scoring single.

The Tigers might have done more damage in the eighth, except for an outstanding leaping catch by Somerset shortstop Katie Potting. Lynnae Kistner ripped a shot that appeared headed for left field, but Potting timed her leap perfectly, snapping the ball in the top of her webbing.

That was one of two showcase defensive plays in the game. The other was by Tiger first baseman Heather Thompson. In the fourth inning Somerset's Ashley Hatch hit a hard liner down the first base line. Thompson dove quickly to her left, catching the hard-hit ball just in front of the first base bag.

Ashlyne Anderson, Linsey Thomas and Jessie Johnston each had two hits to lead the Tigers. Erin Dodor had two hits to lead Somerset and Kendra Steinlicht homered in the third inning for the Spartans.

Tiger coach Jim McCullum said this was another test of what kind of team the Tigers will be this season.

"That's what champions do. If they dig themselves a hole, then they dig themselves out of it," he said. "And give Somerset some credit. They've got some kids who can really hit."

Facing top opponents

The Tigers also got two good tests last week, facing Baldwin-Woodville and Prescott, the two teams closest to them in the conference standings.

Each time, the Tigers prevailed.

On Thursday the Tigers pounced on Prescott, scoring six runs in the first three innings of an 8-1 win. Two days earlier, the Tigers had polished off B-W by a 5-1 score.

The Tigers were sharp in all facets of their game in beating Prescott. The top of the batting order produced well, with Jena O'Flanagan and Ashlyne Anderson combining for five hits.

The defense was at the top of its game, playing errorless ball.

And pitcher Lynnae Kistner was overpowering. She struck out 10, throwing a three-hitter. In one stretch, she retired 17 straight Prescott hitters. The only innings Prescott had baserunners were the first and the seventh.

It doesn't take a big hitting inning for the Tigers to produce a rally. In the third inning the Tigers turned three walks and aggressive baserunning into three runs, without getting a hit in the inning.

The Tigers were similarly sharp in the 5-1 win over Baldwin-Woodville. The Tigers don't overwhelm their opponents with big innings, but they manage a scoring threat in nearly every inning. They had runners in scoring position in every inning except the seventh against B-W. They scored two runs in the second, two more in the third and one in the fifth.

Heather Thompson was the Tigers' offensive leader against B-W, with a double and triple and two runs scored. Jena O'Flanagan also had two hits in the game.

This was another game where the Tigers showed how well they handle the pressure of a big game. They again played errorless ball. And when B-W got its first four batters of the game on base, the Tigers didn't panic. Kistner buckled down and got the next two batters, limiting the Blackhawks to one run in what had the potential to be a huge inning.

The Tigers can lock up the Middle Border Conference championship with a big week this week. On Thursday the Tigers play at home against Amery. The Tigers will also be at home on Friday, in a non-conference game against St. Croix Falls. Next Monday the Tigers play at Durand, and the Tigers are at home next Tuesday against Osceola.

New Richmond 8, Somerset 7



J.O'Flanagan rf 4-0-0, Anderson cf 5-0-2, Kistner p 5-0-0, Thomas dp 5-1-2, Peterson 2b 3-1-1, Thompson 1b 3-0-0, A.O'Flanagan ss 2-2-0, Skramstad lf 2-3-1, Johnston 3b 3-1-2, Rehurek c 0-0-0. Totals 32-8-8.


Lindner lf 3-1-0, Steinlicht cf 4-2-1, Dodor c 4-1-2, Belisle 1b 3-2-1, Potting ss 4-0-0, Martin 3b 3-1-1, Hatch 2b 3-0-0, Larson dp 4-0-0, Blue rf 4-0-0. Totals 32-7-5.

2B-Belisle. 3B-Thomas, Peterson, Dodor. HR-Steinlicht. RBI-J.O'Flanagan, Anderson 3, Skramstad, Johnston, Steinlicht, Belisle 3, Potting.

New Richmond 050 002 01=8

Somerset 001 003 30=7


New Richmond

Kistner (W) 7 8 7 3 3 6

Thompson (S) 1 0 0 0 0 0


Johnson (L) 8 5 8 7 7 2

New Richmond 8, Prescott 1



Matzek p 3-0-0, Butler 1b 3-1-1, Sobolewski rf 3-0-2, Jarchow dp 3-0-0, Green ss 3-0-0, Ries cf 3-0-0, Dewitz c 2-0-0, Eggers 2b 2-0-0, Filarsky lf 2-0-0. Totals 24-1-3.


O'Flanagan rf 3-2-3, Anderson cf 4-1-2, Kistner p 2-1-1, Thomas dp 1-0-0, Vergin dp 2-0-1, Springer 2b 3-1-0, Peterson ss 3-1-0, Thompson 1b 2-1-0, Skramstad lf 3-0-0, Johnston 3b 3-1-2, Rehurek c 0-0-0. Totals 26-8-9.

RBI-O'Flanagan, Anderson, Vergin 2, Springer, Peterson, Thompson, Johnston.

Prescott 100 000 0=1

New Richmond 123 002 x=8


New Richmond

Kistner (W) 7 3 1 1 0 10

New Richmond 5,

Baldwin-Woodville 1



Hinz c 4-1-1, Schlichting rf 4-0-1, Johnson p 4-0-2, Rudesill 3b 2-0-1, Schumacher ss 3-0-0, Monteith dp 3-0-0, Graf lf 3-0-1, Ducklow cf 2-0-1, Monicken 1b 3-0-1, Geurkink 0-0-0. Totals 28-1-8.


O'Flanagan rf 4-0-2, Anderson cf 4-0-1, Kistner p 2-1-0, Thomas dp 4-1-1, Springer 2b 3-0-0, Peterson ss 2-1-1, Thompson 1b 3-2-2, Skramstad lf 2-0-0, Johnston 3b 3-0-1. Totals 27-5-8.

2B-O'Flanagan, Thompson. 3B-Thompson. RBI-Kistner, Springer, Peterson, Thompson, Johnston.

Baldwin-Woodville 100 000 0=1

New Richmond 022 010 x=5


New Richmond

Kistner (W) 7 8 1 1 1 6

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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