Pirates beat Culdesac 15-0 for district title
The Prairie softball team won their second straight district championship with a convincing 15-0 win over Culdesac Tuesday, May 8 at Cottonwood.
Now they’ll advance to state where they’ll seek their first ever state softball championship.
Meghan VanderPas tossed a 3-inning no hitter and the Prairie offense pounded Culdesac with 13 hits, 6 of them for extra bases.
Culdesac had only 3 base runners in the game as VanderPas walked 2 and struck out 2 with the third baserunner coming on an error.
Culdesac put runners on first and third in the third inning on a walk, stolen base and an error. When the runner on first took off for second, catcher Brooke Holthaus faked throwing through and then threw to third, picking off the baserunner there. VanderPas then got a strikeout and a popup to second to end the threat.
Prairie meanwhile got off to a strong start as Tiffany Schaeffer led off with a drive over the leftfielder’s head for a triple. Kara Guyer followed with a drive over the centerfielder’s head to the wall for an inside the park 2-run homer.
Meghan VanderPas followed and crushed a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left. The first time this reporter’s seen a ball hit over the fence at the Wimer ballfields in a girls’ fastpitch game.
Hilaree VanderPas was then walked on 4 pitches and Brooke Holthaus hit a drive deep to left that was caught.
Alli Holthaus singled to left to put runners on first and second. Hilaree got picked off second but made it safe to third anyway as the pitcher’s throw got away from the third baseman.
After a strikeout Kim Schaeffer hit a 2-run single up the middle to make it 5-0 in the first inning.
Walks to Rachel Kaschmitter and Tiffany Schaeffer loaded the bases but a popup got Culdesac out of the inning.
In the second inning the first 6 batters all made it on base and scored.
Meghan VanderPas walked to lead off the inning and Hilaree VanderPas lofted a single to left center. Brooke Holthaus blooped a single over third that scored Meghan.
Alli Holthaus followed with another bloop single behind third that loaded the bases.
Kylie Uhlorn singled to left to score Hilaree VanderPas. Kim Schaeffer then walked to score Carolyn Sonnen, who was running for Brooke Holthaus.
After an out, Tiffany Schaeffer doubled to left to bring in 2 runs and Guyer tripled to right center to bring in two more runs.
Meghan VanderPas singled to left to score Guyer.
Hilaree VanderPas grounded to short but the ball got through to left for an error, moving Meghan to third.
Meghan then scored on Brooke Holthaus’ sacrifice fly to left to make it 14-0.
In the bottom of the third Prairie needed just 1 run to end the game on the 15-run mercy rule. Sonnen pinchhit and smoked one up the middle that the pitcher managed to field for an out. Kim Schaeffer then pounded a drive to deep right center for a triple and when the throw got away at third and went into the Prairie dugout, she was awarded home plate to end the game.
The win is Prairie’s 19th straight on the season and sends them to state with a 24-2 record.
Culdesac 0 0 0— 0 0 3
Prairie 5 9 1—15 13 1
Girls face Rimrock in state opener
The District champion Prairie softball team will open the state tournament at Lewiston’s Sunset Park this Friday, May 18 at 2 p.m. against Rimrock.
That will be followed by Culdesac against Council.
The two winners will play at 6 p.m. with the two losers playing at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The loser of the 6 p.m. game Friday will play the Saturday morning winner at 11:30 a.m.
The winner of that game will face the Friday evening winner in the championship game at 1 p.m.
A second championship game, if necessary, would follow at 2:30 p.m.
This is the first year of a straight double elimination bracket for the girls state tournament, as it had been a round-robin format the past couple of years.
PHS Softball Schedule