St. Mary's players surprised head coach Phil Skamser with a moving tribute before Friday night's game against Aurelia, honoring the longtime Panthers coach for the enthusiastic and caring attitude he has displayed toward his squads for more than a decade.
The team then gave Skamser an even better present - a 10-0 victory that helped the Panthers finish 11-5 in Northwest Conference play.
St. Mary's started out the year 3-9, but have roared back to finish out the second half of the conference season with a 7-1 record, and Skamser, who will coach at Hinton next season, said he could not be happier with the performance of his players.
"I'm so proud of our girls and the way they have finished out the season," Skamser said. "It is a great credit to our girls and the hard work and dedication they have shown."
The Panthers broke open the game against Aurelia in the bottom of the third, scoring six runs to extend their lead to 7-0, and then notched three more in the fifth inning. Danielle Brock drove in three runs and Michelle Drey, Abby Richardson and Lindsay Clausen each had two hits.