Pirates take second at State
The Prairie softball team had their best ever finish at state as they took second in the tournament which was held May 20-21 at Lewiston’s Sunset Park.
Prairie beat Wilder 13-3 and Greenleaf Friends Academy 11-10 on Friday to advance to the championship game.
On Saturday they lost twice to Culdesac, 15-16 in the final round-robin game and 2-12 in the championship game.
The tournament got off to a good start as Meghan VanderPas threw a no-hitter in the opening game against Wilder and Prairie ended the game in the fifth inning on the 10-run rule.
Tiffany Schaeffer got the offense started with a 1-out double in the first inning. VanderPas then reached when the second baseman dropped a soft liner. Natalie Arnzen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two errors allowed Schaeffer and VanderPas to score. Alli Holthaus then beat out an infield single as Arnzen scored to make it 3-0.
A hit batsman, 2 walks and a wild pitch led to Wilder’s first inning run. A pickoff at third and a strikeout got Prairie out of the inning.
Prairie took control offensively in the third with 5 runs on just 1 hit. 3 walks and 2 hit batsmen led to most of the baserunners. VanderPas and Arnzen walked and Kylie Uhlorn walked to load the bases and Alli Holthaus was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Lindsey Crea walked to force in another run. Kim Schaeffer then reached on a fielder’s choice with Uhlorn scoring.
Ashley Schaeffer got the only hit of the inning on a single to right center that scored 2 more runs.
Prairie added 4 more in the fourth. Crea had an RBI single and Ashley Schaeffer had another 2-run single in the inning. Brooke Holthaus had the other RBI on a bases loaded walk.
Wilder scored in the bottom of the fourth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly. 2 walks and a hit batter loaded the bases.
In the fifth Prairie added another run on a walk and stolen base by Arnzen and a run scoring single by Carolyn Sonnen.
In the bottom of the fifth Wilder needed at least 2 runs to extend the game. The leadoff hitter was walked and the next hitter hit the ball to right for what looked like the first hit of the game but Tiffany Schaeffer fielded the ball and threw the batter out at first to preserve the no-hitter. The run scored on a wild pitch. The game ended when Brooke Holthaus fielded a grounder at second and threw the hitter out at first.
Prairie had 8 hits in the game with Ashley Schaeffer collecting 3 of them along with 4 RBI. Tiffany Schaeffer had a double and Sonnen, Alli Holthaus, Crea and Brooke Holthaus each had a single. Crea had 2 RBI.
VanderPas allowed no hits with 7 walks and 5 hit batters along with 7 strikeouts.
Prairie 3 0 5 4 1—13 8 0
Wilder 1 0 0 1 1— 3 0 3
In the second game on Friday Prairie jumped out to a big lead then had to hang on for the 11-10 win over Greenleaf that put them into the championship game.
Prairie scored 3 in the bottom of the first on 2 walks, a bunt single by Tiffany Schaeffer, a couple of wild pitches and a steal of home. Ashley Schaeffer walked to lead off the inning and Tiffany followed with the bunt single. The runners moved up on VanderPas groundout to second. Natalie Arnzen walked to load the bases. Two wild pitches scored both Schaeffers and then Arnzen stole home to make it 3-0.
Prairie added 7 more runs in the second inning.
Greenleaf nearly scored in the second as they had a double and a stolen base to put a runner on third. With two outs the batter drew ball four and the ball got away from Ashley Schaeffer. The batter didn’t move though and was called out for interference to negate the run.
Crea led off with a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. She was then thrown out at third as Sonnen reached on a fielder’s choice. Brooke Holthaus was hit by a pitch and Ashley Schaeffer was walked to load the bases. Sonnen then scored on a wild pitch with the runners moving up. Tiffany Schaeffer then collected another bunt single with a run scoring.
VanderPas walked and Arnzen walked to force home a run. Greenleaf then changed pitchers and the new pitcher hit Uhlorn with her first offering to force home another run. Alli Holthaus then double to left center to bring home two more runs. After Crea was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Sonnen hit into a forceout with Uhlorn scoring.
Greenleaf finally got on the board in the fourth as the leadoff batter singled. A hit batsman and a double led to the two runs.
Prairie added another run in the bottom of the fourth. Arnzen led off with a single, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Uhlorn’s groundout to short.
At that point the momentum swung Greenleaf’s way.
They came up with 4 hits in the fifth inning which combined with a walk, hit batsman and an error led to 6 runs.
They added another run in the sixth on a walk and a single.
In the seventh the leadoff hitter singled and went around to third on wild pitches.
The next hitter walked and a third hitter was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. The next hitter then hit a grounder Brooke Holthaus at second. She tagged the runner and threw to first for a double play while the run scored. The next hitter then grounded out to Arnzen at short to end the game.
VanderPas allowed 8 hits with 5 walks, 2 hit batsmen and 6 strikeouts.
Prairie had just 5 hits with Tiffany Schaeffer having 2 bunt singles. Alli Holthaus had a double and Arnzen and Sonnen each had a single.
Greenleaf 0 0 0 2 6 1 1—10 8 0
Prairie 3 7 0 1 0 0 x—11 5 1
Even though it really didn’t mean anything Prairie and Culdesac played their Saturday morning game to give everyone a chance to play in a state game.
The game followed the pattern of the Greenleaf game only this time Prairie wasn’t able to hang on for the win.
Prairie scored 8 runs in the first inning on 7 hits and 2 walks. They added another 6 runs in the second on 4 more hits, a walk and 3 hit batters.
Culdesac got on the board with a run in the third as they subbed in their senior starters. They brought in their #1 pitcher in the bottom of the third to avoid getting 15-runned as Prairie needed just 2 runs to end the game. Prairie went out in order in each of the next two innings although it took a double play to do that in the fourth.
Meanwhile Prairie forgot how to catch popups and fly balls in the top of the fourth as they committed 5 errors. They should have got out of the inning with nobody reaching base as the leadoff hitter reached on a dropped fly ball to left. The next two hitters were then put out. Culdesac then started hitting the ball as the next two batters both doubled and those were followed by a single. A dropped popup at third kept the inning alive with 2 more doubles following. After a dropped popup at short and a dropped popup at second Culdesac had 8 unearned runs on the board and had cut the lead to 14-9.
There were 2 more errors in the fifth along with 3 singles, a double and a homer as Culdesac took the lead at 14-16. If the centerfield fence had been about 5 feet further back, Myken Dahlen would have caught the homer. As it was she was concentrating on the ball and nearly got herself tangled in the plastic snow fence and managed to nearly knock over one of the supporting fence posts.
In the bottom of the fifth Prairie got a single from Arnzen and Brooke Holthaus reached on an error. Arnzen scored on Alli Holthaus’ groundout to third but another groundout to third ended the threat and the game was halted on time limit.
Ashley Schaeffer pitched for Prairie and allowed 14 hits while walking 5 with 1 strikeout. Only 5 of the 16 Culdesac runs were earned.
Prairie had 11 hits with Ashley Schaeffer having a double and 2 singles. Tiffany Schaeffer and Meghan VanderPas each had 2 singles and Arnzen, Brooke Holthaus, Sonnen and Chantel Boniecki each had a single.
Culdesac 0 0 1 8 7—16 14 2
Prairie 8 6 0 0 1—15 11 7
By winning the earlier game Culdesac earned the right to be the home team in the championship game.
It was a close game until the bottom of the sixth inning when Culdesac scored 8 runs to invoke the 10-run rule for a 2-12 win.
Prairie took the early lead with a run in the first. VanderPas singled to left with two outs and Arnzen walked. Uhlorn then singled up the middle to score VanderPas.
Prairie held the lead until the bottom of the third when Culdesac scored 2 unearned runs. The leadoff hitter had singled and gone to second on a wild pitch. After a flyball out to right and a walk, the lead runner was forced at third on a grounder to Arnzen at short.
The next hitter popped up to third where Alli Holthaus looked ready for the catch but Arnzen came over and they collided allowing the ball to drop with the tying run scoring. Instead of being out of the inning with a 1-0 lead, the next hitter singled to give Culdesac a 1-2 lead.
Prairie tied the score in the top of the fourth when Uhlorn and Alli Holthaus both walked. After an out, Sonnen reached as her grounder to second went through the wickets for an error with Uhlorn scoring on the play. A double play ended any further threat.
Culdesac came right back with two more unearned runs as 2 more errors led to 2 more runs.
In the final two innings Prairie had just one baserunner. Ashley Schaeffer singled to lead off the fifth but the next three hitters were put out, two on fly balls to the outfield.
In the bottom of the sixth Culdesac seemed to finally have VanderPas timed as they pounded out 7 hits which along with 2 walks and an error allowed Culdesac to end the game on the mercy rule.
VanderPas allowed 11 hits with 5 walks and 5 strikeouts.
Prairie managed just 3 hits in the game, a single each by Ashley Schaeffer, VanderPas and Uhlorn.
Prairie ends their season with a 17-10 record.
Prairie 1 0 0 1 0 0— 2 3 4
Culdesac 0 0 2 2 0 8—12 11 1