Area Softball: Upsala cashes in on chances

Pierz senior Lynn Funk lines up a pitch and connects during the Pioneers’ home opener against St. Cloud Cathedral, April 11. Funk reached base as the tying run in the seventh, but Pierz couldn’t get her home in a tight 5-4 defeat.

Pierz senior Lynn Funk lines up a pitch and connects during the Pioneers’ home opener against St. Cloud Cathedral, April 11. Funk reached base as the tying run in the seventh, but Pierz couldn’t get her home in a tight 5-4 defeat.

Neither team had much trouble getting runners on base.

The difference came in converting those base runners into runs, with Upsala executing superbly to churn out a 10-0 shutout in six innings over visiting Swanville, April 11.

Junior Simone Grittner went 3-for-3 for Swanville.

Junior Mariah Prokott earned the win pitching for Upsala, and along with seniors Kaelin Smieja and Katie Ripplinger had multi-hit games.

The Cardinals added another convincing win, Tuesday, topping host Eagle Valley 10-2.

Smieja went 3-for-4 while junior Kristin Wuebkers and Ripplinger each picked up two hits.

Upsala dropped its opener 16-10 to visiting Eden Valley-Watkins, April 10.

 

Nichols slams homer to help Royals overtake Thunder

Senior Jacquline Nichols erased a three-run deficit with one swing of the bat as Royalton took down Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 6-3 in its home and season opener, April 11.

After the Thunder pushed three runs across in the top of the first inning, Royalton evened things up on a three-run homer by Nichols in the bottom of the third.

Royalton then put up three more runs in the fifth to take the lead, utilizing singles from sophomore Nicole Popp and Nichols.

Sophomore pitcher Kayla Eli struck out eight while going the distance to pick up the win, holding the Thunder scoreless after the first inning.

“The team played great defense and put themselves into good scoring position by taking advantage of smart base running,” Royalton head coach Amy Krueger said.

 

Cathedral fights off late Pioneers rally

After both teams plated three runs in the first inning, a pitchers’ duel emerged between St. Cloud Cathedral and Pierz, April 11.

In the end, the visiting Crusaders snuck by with a 5-4 win, stranding Pierz’ tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh inning.

With the game still tied 3-3 through four frames, Cathedral broke the deadlock in the top of the fifth to go ahead 4-3.

Pierz junior Shelbie Boser drops a tag on a St. Cloud Cathedral base runner for an out at second base during Friday's home opener.

Pierz junior Shelbie Boser drops a tag on a St. Cloud Cathedral base runner for an out at second base during Friday’s home opener.

It appeared it would remain that way until Pierz’ final at bat, but a two-out error, wild pitch and base hit gave the Crusaders a pivotal insurance run in the top of the seventh inning to extend their edge to 5-3.

In the Pioneers’ final at bat, they capitalized on an error as well to tally an unearned run, but couldn’t manage to bring the equalizer across.

Senior Lea Uzalac went 2-for-3 with a walk and scored twice for Pierz, while senior Tiara Hopkins tossed a three-hitter.

 

Cekalla, Gottwalt reach three times in LF opener

St. Cloud Cathedral shook off an early deficit to top visiting Little Falls 8-2 in the Flyers’ season opener, April 10.

Senior Alea Cekalla and junior Mikayla Gottwalt each reached base three times and scored for the Flyers.

Sophomore Sarah Gold tripled in a run.

Foley tops Huskers in extras

Foley edged past visiting Holdingford 5-4 in eight innings, April 11.

Junior Amy Catlin had a pair of hits for the Huskers.

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