Even with a hectic week of three double headers the Rush City softball team still found a way to win five of the six games, landing them in first place in the race for the Great River Conference Championship.
Leading the Tigers offensively were Taniel Schellbach and Kayla Forcier with two hits each. Also collecting hits were Miranda Anderson, Abby Scherer, Lindsey Williams, Chesney Grant and Hannah Pavek.
Crossing the plate for runs were Forcier, Williams, Grant, Pavek and Sydnie Sybrant.
Mackenzie Sherrill pitched five and 2/3 innings striking out eight, walking three and giving up 10 hits and six runs.
“I knew Isle would be tough, as they did not lose a conference game last year. They have many good players back, and they are well coached,” coach Kim Erdman said. “When two good teams get together, you usually get a good ball game, and the fans got two good games today. We had the first game in our grasp, up 5-2 and three outs away from the win, but Isle put together four runs in the last inning to win 6-5. Both teams played very good defense, and both pitchers pitched well.”
After a short break, the second game started with the Tigers slated as the home team.
Isle jumped to a quick 3-0 lead and then extended it to 5-1, but the Tigers got their bats rolling and erupted for eight runs to take a 9-5 lead.
Isle answered with one run and three more to tie it 9-9 until the Tigers scored seven runs to go up 16-9. The Huskies could only muster one more run, and the Tigers took the second game 16-10.
Anderson went three for three with a walk, two triples and a home run. Collecting two hits were Grant and Scherer, while Emma Peterson and Sybrant each got a hit.
Grant and Anderson had three runs, while Scherer, Schellbach and Williams each had two. Crossing the plate once were Taylor Youngblom, Pavek, Sybrant and Peterson.
Sherrill pitched the first two and 2/3 innings striking out four, walking two, and giving up five hits and five runs. Grant came in and pitched three and 1/3 innings striking out six, walking two, and giving up three hits and five runs.
“We could have easily hung our heads and given up after a heartbreaking loss,” said Erdman. “Chesney did an outstanding job coming in to pitch. Mack had pitched eight innings total and went deep in the count on a lot of batters, so she was getting a little tired. Chesney didn’t miss a beat and step and threw well.”
The next day the Tigers visited neighbor rival Braham for a double header and crushed the Bombers 22-0 and 14-5.
Chelsey Mell, Scherer and Grant each had three hits; Anderson and Sybrant had two; and Forcier, Schellbach and Pavek each added one.
Forcier had four runs, Anderson three, while Mell, Pavek, Sybrant, Williams, Grant and Scherer each had two. Scoring one run were Kiawna Forcier, Tara Sarago and Youngblom.
Sherrill pitched the first three innings striking out three with no walks and one hit, while Youngblom pitched the next two innings striking out one, walking one and not giving up a hit.
“They got plenty of run support as the Tigers racked up 11 runs in the first inning in route to a 16-hit, 22-0 win,” Erdman said. “I was a little concerned we may be a little down after a huge double header up in Isle, with two intense games. The girls did not let that happen, starting out strong right away, with the first five girls scoring. I am so pleased with our effort. The girls are going all out, no matter what the score, to get an out.”
The Tigers’ bats stayed hot for the second game, pounding out 15 hits.
Schellbach ripped four hits, while Scherer, Grant, Williams and Sybrant got two. Kayla Forcier, Pavek and Mell each added a hit.
Scherer had four runs, while Anderson, Grant, Williams and Schellbach had two. Sybrant and Pavek were each good for one run.
Sherrill pitched five and 1/3 innings striking out five, giving up seven hits, five runs, and walking one. Grant came in to pitch the last 2/3 inning striking out one.
“The girls kept up the intensity that they had from the first game and worked hard from the first pitch,” Erdman said. “I was pleased with our defensive play and our aggressive base running. Braham has been a good rival through the years, and it is nice to come home with two wins.”
The winning streak continued when Ogilvie came to visit for a double header, and the Tigers tamed the Lions 23-12 and 9-2 on a chilly Thursday.
Ogilvie came out swinging to take a quick 4-0 lead before the Tigers even stepped up to the plate.
However, Rush City answered with four runs of its own to tie it up and continued to swing the bats well with 15 hits while drawing 15 walks for the game.
Schellbach collected four hits, while Anderson and Scherer had three. Kayla Forcier had two hits, and Williams, Pavek and Mell rounded off the hitting with one.
Anderson scored four runs, while Kayla Forcier, Scherer, Grant, Williams and Schellbach all had three. Sybrant had two runs, while Youngblom and Pavek finished with one.
Sherrill pitched all five innings for the win.
“The weather had an affect on the pitchers,” Erdman said. “Mack rarely walks more than one or two in a game, and she had seven this game.”
Before the next game, it was agreed upon by both coaches to make it a five inning game instead of the regular seven innings.
Forcier and Pavek each had three hits, followed by Scherer and Grant with two, while Taylor Youngblom, Mell and Williams had one hit.
Kayla Forcier scored three runs while Scherer, Emma Peterson, Grant, Williams, Pavek and Mell each scored once.
Sherrill continued pitching and finished at four and 1/3 innings, with four strikeouts, three hits, two walks and one run. Grant came in with one out in the last inning and faced six batters, striking out two, walking three and allowing one to reach on an error.
“Many times, Mack gets stronger the more innings she pitches,” Erdman explained. “This was a perfect example. She pitched very well.”
The Rush City softball team is first in the Great River Conference with a 10-1 conference and overall record.