The Sioux Central softball team took advantage of seven St. Mary's errors and was bolstered by a strong pitching effort from senior Chelsea Winterboer in a 9-5 win over the Panthers here Wednesday at Memorial Field.
Despite the loss, St. Mary's coach Courtney Berg wasn't disappointed in her team's performance.
"Our errors and 14 strikeouts really kept us from winning this game," she said. "There are still a lot of things we need to work on, but these girls showed a lot of heart and toughness, especially since we scored three of our five runs in the seventh inning.
The Rebels won the season opener for both teams by banging out 13 hits and taking advantage of nine walks.
The Panthers scored a single run in the bottom of the first on a single by senior outfielder Coleen Smith and an RBI triple by junior shortstop Abby Richardson.
Sioux Central erupted for four runs in the top of the second, with the big hits coming off the bats of Richter and Winterboer in the leadoff spot.
The Rebels added one in third, two in the fourth and two more in the seventh.
Winterboer struck out 14 Panther hitters and yielded seven hits and three walks.
St. Mary's rallied for a single run in the fifth, then scored three in the bottom of the seventh before falling four runs short.
St. Mary's righthander Langner struck out seven but the nine walks and errors hurt.
Richardson led the Panthers with two triples in three at-bats, while junior catcher Jess Lussman added a two-run, inside-the park homer in the seventh.
Rylee Paterson pitched the sixth inning for St. Mary's and struck out two of the four batters she faced.
Also, Robyn Bredvick hit a pinch-single in the seventh.
"I was very pleased with how our subs came in and played at the end of the game," Berg said.
The Panthers play in a CYO Tournament Saturday in Carroll while Sioux Central is at a tourney Saturday in Bode.