By Victoria Dahlin—
The Rush City softball team had an intense week of competition, winning two out of the four games it played last week.
The team began the week in Grantsburg to face the possible Wisconsin state championship contender Pirates, and the girls ran into a buzz saw losing 12-0 in 4½ innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Mackenzie Sherrill pitched 3 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking one. Taylor Youngblom came in to strike out the only batter she faced in the bottom of the fourth.
“This is the best team in the area, hands down,” said Coach Kim Erdman. “They hit the ball extremely well, rarely make an error and are aggressive and smart on the bases. Their pitching is very good also. Even though they were shut out, there were some bright spots for the Tigers. DP (designated player) Hannah Pavek got on base both times she was up, getting a hit and being hit by a pitch. Taniel Schellbach and Trista Sarago also got hits for the Tigers. Defensively Danica Schellbach made a nice over the shoulder catch at short, and outfielders Liz Bolejack, Miranda Anderson and Randi Schoeberl all made nice catches.”
On April 23 the Tigers and their lone conference loss hosted Hinckley-Finlayson who were undefeated in conference play. And the game proved up to
The Jaguars scored two in the first, but the Tigers battled back after Sarago was walked and Abby Scherer was hit by a pitch, when an error by the Jaguars allowed both Sarago and Scherer to score.
In the fifth inning, Sarago worked another walk and Scherer reached on an error, scoring Sarago. Scherer then scored on a wild pitch.
Rush City was up 4-2 after five innings, but Hinckley-Finlayson came back to score three and win the game 5-4.
Sherrill pitched the complete game, striking out 11 and walking two.
“Mac and Abby did a great job of moving the pitches around and keeping the batters guessing,” said Coach Erdman. “We get to face them one more time this year, and if we can eliminate some mistakes, we can win these close ones. The girls gave it their all until the final out.”
The Tigers got their first win of the week when they made the long trip up to Aitkin last Thursday to face the Gobblers.
Aitkin scored their only run in the bottom of the second, then the Tigers got things going, scoring one in the third, five in the fourth, one in the sixth, and two more in the seventh to get the 9-1 victory.
Leading the way offensively with two hits were Sarago and Sherrill, while T. Schellbach, Liz Bolejack and Kayla Forcier each
got one hit.
The Tigers worked 10 walks, with Miranda Anderson and T. Schellbach walking twice, while six different girls scored, T. Schellbach, Sherrill, and Forcier all crossed the plate twice.
Sherrill struck out five and gave up four hits.
“This was a ‘two win’ game for the conference, as we only play Aitkin once,” said Coach Erdman. “The infield had a lot of balls to them today, and they were very solid.”
On Friday, Ogilvie came to town and started the game with a roar, and when the dust settled the Lions were up 4-0 before the Tigers even stepped to the plate.
But the Tigers went to work in the third inning, scoring seven runs on three hits, a walk and three errors, finally knocking down the Lions 7-4.
Leading the offense was T. Schellbach, going two for two with two walks, while Scherer, Sherrill, Forcier, Bolejack, and Williams also each had a hit.
Sherrill went the distance, striking out seven.
The Rush City softball team is third in the Great River Conference with a 5-2 conference and 5-4 overall record. The Tigers will travel to Pine City to face the Dragons at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3 before hosting the Braham Bombers at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.