Softball team has exciting finish to regular season
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:30 AM
The Gopher softball team played five games last week, going 3-2 during that stretch. After a win against Lewiston-Altura to start the week on Wednesday, Chatfield then swept a doubleheader against the Southland Rebels. They couldn't sustain that success, however, as they fell in both games of a doubleheader on Friday against the Fillmore Central Falcons, which are ranked ninth in the state in Class A.
Sidney Irish fields a ground ball for the Gophers vs. Fillmore Central/Lanesboro. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Lewiston-Altura 8, Chatfield 11
The Gophers needed six runs in the bottom of the fifth and final inning of the game to earn the come from behind victory.
After the Cardinals put up a run in the top of the first, Chatfield took an early 2-1 lead on RBI singles from Brook Irish in the first inning and Hailee Stock in the second inning. A five-run third inning by the Cardinals erased that deficit and gave them a 6-2 lead.
Sydney Gould's RBI single in the bottom of the third trimmed the Cardinal lead to three. The Gophers added two more runs in the fourth as a double by Sidney Irish put Kaitlyn Griffen, who was running for Jennifer Hanson after she singled, in position to score on a ground out. Irish would later come around to score on a Shelby Bernard double.
Despite having scored a run in every inning, the Gophers trailed 8-5 going into the bottom of the fifth inning. That didn't deter them, however, as they stormed back with a six run inning to end the game. The scoring in the fifth was highlighted by a two run triple off the bat of Sidney Irish that scored Stock and Griffen.
Hanson was the starting pitcher for the Gophers in this game, although she only pitched two-and-one-third innings. During her time on the mound she surrendered five runs, three earned, on three hits and five walks while striking out one. Brook Irish relieved her in the third and completed the game. She allowed three runs, two earned on eight hits and also struck out one.
Southland 1, Chatfield 22
In the first game of the Thursday doubleheader, the Gophers offense exploded for 22 runs while the defense held the Rebels scoreless until the final inning of the game.
Chatfield got off to a quick start, scoring four runs in the first inning and two more in the second. The early scoring was led by Kirsten Keefe, who drove in a run in both innings and scored another in the second.
The Gophers blew the game wide open in the third inning and put it completely out of reach in the fourth inning, scoring eight runs in each. Megan LaPlante started the offensive onslaught in the third with a lead-off home run. She would also double and score again later in the same inning. Keefe and Gould also doubled and scored in the inning, with the former driving in two of her team-high five runs on hers.
The eight-run fourth inning was accomplished in a more methodical manner, as seven straight batters all singled and scored to seal the victory.
Brook Irish started the game in the circle for the Gophers and pitched all five innings. She gave up only one run in the game while allowing five hits and issuing three walks. She also struck out six batters.
Chatfield 20, Southland 2
The second game of the doubleheader was much of the same for the Gophers as they reached 20 runs for the second straight game to coast to victory.
The teams each put up a run in the first inning before Chatfield exploded for 12 runs in the second inning. Freshman Kyra Dokken highlighted the offensive outburst, hitting a pair of two run doubles in the inning. The only other run scoring hit in the inning came from Griffen, whose single scored Sidney Irish. The Gophers also got a pair of bases loaded walks to score two runs as they accumulated five walks in all during the second inning.
The Gophers added four more runs in the fourth inning, three of which came on a bases loaded triple by Mckenzie Meeker. They followed that with three more runs in the fifth, two of which scored on a Shelby Bernard triple.
Fillmore Central/Lanesboro 3, Chatfield 2
The Gophers closed the week with a doubleheader against state-ranked FC-L. In the opening game of the day Chatfield was defeated despite holding a 2-0 lead for most of the game.
Chatfield jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Janessa Erding and Griffen, who was running for Bernard after she hit one of her three singles in the game, scored on a single by Keefe. Although they threatened to score again, they were unable to do so as the Falcons were able wiggle out of trouble.
Despite getting five more hits in the game, the Gophers were unable to put together another scoring threat as their hits, all singles, were spread out over the remaining six innings.
The Gopher lead was trimmed to one in the top half of the sixth inning and then erased by a two-run seventh that gave the Falcons the win.
Brook Irish started the game in the circle for the Gophers and pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks. She also struck out four batters.
Chatfield 3, Fillmore Central/Lanesboro 4
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Gophers were again unable to fend off a late rally by the Falcons, who scored all four of their runs in the sixth inning to escape with their second one-run victory of the day.
The Gophers again jumped out to an early lead scoring one in the first and another in the second. The first inning run came from Sidney Irish, who led off the game with a single and came around to score on a pair of stolen bases and a ground out. In the second inning the Gophers scored a run without recording a hit. Sydney Gould reached on an error, stole second base, and crossed home plate from there on a second error.
After being set down in order in both the third and fourth innings, Chatfield extended its lead to 3-0 in the fifth. Megan LaPlante scored the run on a passed ball after reaching on a double and stealing third.
Erding added the Gophers' third and final hit of the game in the sixth inning. She reached on a single and advanced to third on a ground out and a stolen base, only to be stranded there.
The Falcons rallied in the sixth inning scoring four runs and taking a one run lead on four singles, a walk, a HBP and an error.
The starting pitcher in the nightcap was Hanson. She pitched five-and-one-third innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits and five walks while striking out six. Keefe came on in relief for the final two-thirds of an inning and struck out both batters she faced.
The Gopher's 12-6 record earned them the third seed in the east sub-section tournament where they will take on the sixth seeded Goodhue Wildcats on Monday at home.