One of the main concerns for St. Mary's head softball coach Phil Skamser heading into Saturday night's game against Schaller-Crestland centered around the ability of S-C batters to bring home runners in scoring position.
The Wildcats lived up to their advanced billing on Saturday night, taking advantage of numerous scoring opportunities with key hits to win a first-round district contest at Storm Lake, 9-3.
St. Mary's had entered the game riding a wave of confidence after winning six of its previous seven ballgames, but Schaller-Crestland doused that momentum in the fourth inning, scoring five runs to stretch a 3-1 lead to an 8-1 margin.
All nine Wildcat batters were able to reach base either by hit, fielders choice, walk or error during the game, and the team also made several webgems, including sliding catches by Kayla Bihrer at first base and Jenna Malcom in centerfield. Schaller-Crestland head coach Heath Galvin said he was pleased with the effort given by his club from both an offensive and defensive standpoint.
"Every hitter in our lineup hit the ball tonight," Galvin said. "Our defense made some great plays, especially Kayla Bihrer at first base. It was a good win to start the tournament."
Schaller-Crestland never trailed in the contest, as Courtney Whitmore drove in Monica Bloyer with the game's opening run in the first inning to help S-C go up 1-0. Jenna Malcom then began the third inning off with a triple, and Bloyer then reached base on a bunt and advanced to second base when the Panthers threw home to prevent Malcom from scoring. A pair of RBI groundouts to Panthers second baseman Danielle Brock by Tessa Schmidt and Whitmore brought home Malcom and Bloyer to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
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