Prep softball: SPASH earns return trip to state
June 8, 2012By Todd VanderLoop of SPASH Softball
OSHKOSH -- A season that began in uncharacteristic fashion with a loss will end where it usually does for the Stevens Point Area Senior High softball team -- in Madison.
Refusing to flinch, and determined to prove the nay-sayers wrong, SPASH will return to Goodman Diamond to defend its WIAA Division 1 championship.
Angela Lange pitched a three-hitter and Parris Kurszewski homered to spark the Panthers to a 3-0 win over Beaver Dam in a sectional championship matchup at UW-Oshkosh.
The quest for state title No. 9 will begin at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday when the Panthers (22-5) meet Germantown (22-4) in a state quarterfinal.
"This is the best feeling in the world," SPASH senior third baseman Melanie Leopold said.
SPASH followed the same blueprint against Beaver Dam that got it one step from state -- Good pitching from Lange, who is backed by an air-tight defense and supported by a balanced offense.
"We did what we needed to do," SPASH coach Tom Drohner said. "I'm so proud of where we have come since our first game. There were some people who thought we were not going to get back here."
Kurszewski took care of all the offense the Panthers would need with one swing of the bat in the second inning.
The senior catcher sent a 1-2 change-up from Beaver Dam pitcher Nicole Schmidt deep over the left-field fence.
"I was just focused on staying on top of the ball and get a pitch I could take a good swing at and drive. The home run was a surprise," said Kurszewski of her second home run of the season.
Carly Lass went 3 for 3 and scored a pair of runs, while Taylor Smola drove in two runs to increase her school-record total to 47.
Lange and the defense did the rest.
"I'm very excited as a senior to be able to take another trip down there," Kurszewski said. "We don't take it for granted that just because we put the jersey on we're going to go to state."
PANTHERS 3, GOLDEN BEAVERS 0
Beaver Dam 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1
SPASH 011 010 x -- 3 7 1
WP -- Angela Lange. LP -- Nicole Schmidt. 2B -- Beaver Dam, Nicole Schmidt; SPASH, Carly Lass. HR -- SPASH, Parris Kurszewski.
Records: SPASH 22-5; Beaver Dam 18-6.