Central Wisconsin Sports.net Article -DCE Game
May 12, 2012By Todd VanderLoop of SPASH Softball
By Brian Kalish
May 11, 2012
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Stevens Point– What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, the SPASH Panthers softball team suffered a gut-wrenching loss to Wausau West. This week, SPASH returned to form, using the strength of a Taylor Smola home run and effective pitching from Angela Lange to roll to a 8-4 victory over D.C. Everest.
The game got off to somewhat of a tenuous start for the Panthers, who have exhibited a tendency to start games slowly for pretty much the entire 2012 campaign. In the top of the second, Everest junior Alayna Krejci lifted an Angela Lange change up over the outfield fence for a home run to give the Evergreens a 1-0 lead.
“I don’t know how to pronounce her last name,” said SPASH head coach Tom Drohner of Krejci, “but that girl can hit. She’s really impressive. We really haven’t figured out a way to get her out.”
Everest would proceed to use the momentum from Krejci’s home run to load the bases with one out against Lange, but SPASH’s pitcher recorded two consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.
Lange found herself in another bases loaded jam in the fourth inning. However, she struck out Rachel Bauman and induced a ground out from Emily Bruns to again keep the Evergreens off the board.
“The strike zone was a little tight today,” Drohner said. ”(Angela) was hitting her spots and doing a pretty good job. We made a few mistakes with change ups today and that cost us… As far as getting in and out of jams, she did a pretty good job. They could have blown the game open early had they gotten a hit or two.”
Everest took the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth when SPASH broke through with and RBI single from Taylor Smola, driving in Heather Woyak, who lead off the inning with a double.
The Panthers added two more runs, including a well-executed squeeze bunt by catcher Parris Kurszewski, to go up 3-1.
Everest loaded the bases yet again in the top of the fifth, scoring once to pull within one run.
With the outcome of the game still very much in doubt, Taylor Smola came to bat in the bottom of the fifth and lifted a mammoth shot to left field, a 2-run blast.
Smola’s home run was followed by solid at-bats from Megan Roth, Kurszewski and Shelby Fields, who has been consistent at the plate all year for SPASH. Fields beat out an infield hit in the fifth to keep the pressure on Everest in the fifth.
“When I get up to the plate, my mindset is that I need to get the ball in play because I’ve got enough speed that something’s going to happen– someone’s going to get nervous and I’m going to be able to get on,” Fields said.
SPASH’s three-run fifth was enough to seal the victory, but the Panthers added two more runs in the sixth.
While SPASH might have a propensity for starting slow, Drohner said it is difficult to keep his team bottled up for seven innings.
“I think that our lineup wears people down,” Drohner said. ”When you get kids that can either get on base with their speed or you get kids who can hit the ball out of the ball park– I think that’s what happened again today. Our big three, Woyak, Hauser and Smola have just been huge for us. I think they’ve got over 90 RBI now on the year. That’s pretty tough to sit and watch for four at-bats.”
There is no question that SPASH’s “big three” give opposing coaches severe indigestion, but players like Fields, Shuda and Roth have been playing a significant role in SPASH’s success as well.
“We feel great as a team,” said Fields. ”Even though we had our one downfall (last week vs. Wausau West), it’s not going to stop us. We’re just going to get right back at it and do what we do as a team.”
SPASH Notes: Smola’s home run marked the 18th home run by SPASH this year, which ties the school record set by last year’s team… Kallie Krueger, playing first base late in the game for SPASH, made a highlight-reel diving stab to record an out for the Panthers… Kurszewski gunned down an Everest steal attempt in the top of the fifth to help squash what was turning into a significant Everest rally… There reportedly were no disputes concerning the scoring of the game today among those who were keeping book…