Pirates beat Culdesac for district title
The Prairie softball team scored 3 runs in the top of the seventh to break a 5-all tie and held on to beat Culdesac 8-5 in the district championship game Tuesday, May 9 at Cottonwood.
It is Prairie’s first ever District Softball championship since the switch to fastpitch.
In the first two innings Prairie had baserunners but couldn’t push across any runs. In the second inning they had the bases load with only 1 out but a forceout at home and a fly ball out got the Wolves out of the inning.
In the third inning Culdesac changed pitchers. Apparently their regular starter wasn’t allowed to start for disciplinary reasons.
Prairie jumped on her for 4 straight hits to start the inning. Meghan VanderPas led off with a single up the middle and Natalie Arnzen followed with a single with VanderPas going to third.
Arnzen was then called out at second attempting to steal with Prairie coaches maintaining Culdesac missed the tag.
Alli Holthaus followed with a pop fly toward the second baseman that managed to fall untouched with VanderPas scoring.
Kara Guyer then followed with a long fly to the right field corner. She circled the bases for a 2-run homer and a 3-0 Prairie lead.
On the pitching side VanderPas sailed through the first 3 innings with 7 strikeouts and only 1 baserunner allowed on a walk.
In the fourth Culdesac got a base hit up the middle after one out. VanderPas then struck out the next hitter and appeared about to get out of the inning but Kylie Uhlorn, who had made a great catch on a foul fly ball in the previous inning, wasn’t able to hold onto one this time. Given a new life the Culdesac hitter tripled to right to bring in a run. She then strayed off third to far and catcher Brooke Holthaus threw to third. Prairie then executed a rundown with VanderPas finally making the tag for the out.
In the fifth Culdesac got to VanderPas with 2 singles and a walk to load the bases. Leadoff hitter Nikki Lane then clubbed a triple to right center but got greedy rounding third with Ashley Schaeffer chasing her down for the out.
Down 3-4 in the top of the sixth, Prairie put together a 2-run rally to take back the lead. Uhlorn singled to left to start the inning and Kim Altman laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Uhlorn to second. Tiffany Schaeffer singled to left and Ashley Schaeffer singled to right to score Uhlorn and send Tiffany to third.
Prairie then executed a delayed double steal. Ashley headed for second but paused trying to draw a throw. When the throw came, Tiffany took off from third and slid in home just ahead of the throw back from short with the go-ahead run. Unfortunately she reaggravated an ankle injury on the play.
Prairie couldn’t hold the lead though as a leadoff double and 1 out single allowed Culdesac to tie the score.
In the top of the seventh Alli Holthaus led off with a single to left. Guyer reached on an error by the first baseman. Brooke Holthaus then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners over. Uhlorn singled up the middle to score Alli Holthaus with Guyer moving to third. Uhlorn then stole second.
After a second out, Tiffany Schaeffer hobbled to the plate and hit a 2-strike pitch to right center field to score both Guyer and Uhlorn and give Prairie a 3-run lead.
Alicia Pepper went in to run for Tiffany but a popout to third ended the inning.
In the bottom of the inning the leadoff hitter reached on an error and the next hitter lofted a fly to left that Uhlorn caught for an out.
Lane looked for more magic but wound up grounding to Ashley Schaeffer at third who threw to first for the out.
VanderPas then faced Rebecca Fender who had come up with the game-winning hit the first time Prairie played Culdesac this year. VanderPas got her looking for strike 3 to end it, the fourth time she struck Fender out in the game.
VanderPas wound up with 13 strikeouts while walking 2. She gave up 7 hits.
Prairie meanwhile pounded out 12 hits with Guyer collecting a homer and single and Tiffany Schaeffer, VanderPas, Alli Holthaus and Uhlorn 2 singles each. Arnzen and Ashley Schaeffer each added a single.
Prairie takes a 19-3 record into the state tournament at Caldwell. Culdesac will join them there as they beat Lewis County 14-0 to take second place.
Prairie 0 0 3 0 0 2 3—8 12 2
Culdesac 0 0 0 1 3 1 0—5 7 2
Softball tournament set for Caldwell
The 1-A state softball tournament will take place in Caldwell on Friday and Saturday, May 19-20.
Tournament format will be round-robin with each team playing the other three teams in the tournament. The two teams with the best records will then meet for the championship with the other two teams facing each other in a consolation game.
Prairie’s first game will be against Notus at noon Mountain time. They will play Greenleaf at 4 p.m. on Friday and Culdesac at noon on Saturday.
The consolation game will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and the championship game at 4 p.m.
Home team for the round-robin portion of the tournament will be determined by coin flip. The team with the better record will be home team in the consolation and championship games.
In the event of a tie the team that won the head-to-head game will be the higher seed. The team with the highest margin of victory average will be the highest seed.
LADY PIRATES SOFTBALL 2006