Silver Bay softball finishes in fourth place at state tournamentSilver Bay opened play at the state softball tournament with a 9-2 victory over the Chatfield Gophers.
By: Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
Silver Bay opened play at the state softball tournament with a 9-2 victory over the Chatfield Gophers.
Little did they know that they would not score another run and would get only one hit in the rest of the tournament.
Their semifinal match put them up against New Life Academy of Woodbury, the defending champion and this year’s eventual champion and their star pitcher Danielle Schmidt.
New Life prevailed 5-0 behind a no-hitter by Schmidt.
New Life lead off batter, Jenny Ramey, led off the game with a bunt single and got to second base via a passed ball.
After a balk put her at third base, she scored on another passed ball. In the bottom of the first for the Mariners, their first two batters, Kirstin Sandstrom and Taylor Guzzo, each drew a walk and were at second and third by means of a double steal.
Schmidt struck out three batters to end what would be the best scoring chance of the game for the Mariners. With the score still at 1-0 at the end of four innings of play, New Life struck for three more in the top of the fifth to pretty much put the game away.
“Being 1-0 going into the fifth, it was quite a game,” said head coach Mike Guzzo about the New Life Talent.
With two outs, New Life batters struck for three straight singles and a double to up their advantage to 4-0.
Schmidt by then was on cruise control as she finished the game with 14 strikeouts. Nikki Babbitt went five innings for the Mariners and took the loss giving up three earned runs, striking out four and walking two.
Guzzo pitched the final two innings and gave up one run on one hit and two walks.
In the third place game the Mariners fell 1-0 to Sacred Heart of East Grand Forks when the Eagles scored in the top of the seventh inning.
Silver Bay and Sacred Heart were scoreless after 5 1/2 innings of play as Sandstrom and Darcy Roach were in a great pitching duel. Roach had retired all 15 batters she had faced until Marina Carter led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a ground ball single just out of the reach of the second baseman.
Shay Viola laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Carter to second with one out and the Mariners had the potential winning run in scoring position. Jessica Solberg then struck after fouling off four straight two strike pitches and Sandstrom popped up after fouling off five straight two strike pitches.
In the top of the seventh Ashlyn Krejci reached base via a throwing error on what would have been a very close play. After a fly out to left field a bunt put Krejci at second with two outs.
A single up the middle by Sandy Novak ended up scoring Krejci with what proved to be the winning run.
Sandstrom took the loss as she allowed no earned runs gave up five hits and walked three batters. Roach, a very good drop ball pitcher headed to St. Scholastica next season, finished with a one hitter and struck out five in picking up the victory.
To get to the game with New Life, they defeated Chatfield.
Against Chatfield only four of the nine Mariner runs were earned as the Gophers committed seven errors.
They threw the ball around, rushed their throws and simply missed catches. The Mariners scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
“We played great defense,” Guzzo said. “There defense had a bunch of errors in that game.”
With two outs, both Carter and Viola got on base via throwing errors. A single by Solberg scored both runners. In the third inning the Mariners upped their lead to 5-0.
Guzzo led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
After Biz Huss walked, Guzzo beat a throw to the plate on a fielders choice ground ball from Babbitt.
With two outs Carter again reached base on an error which scored Huss and Babbitt scored when the catcher overthrow third base.
After Emily Miller homered for the Gophers in the top of the fourth, the Mariners replied with four more runs in their half of the inning. Solberg led off the inning with a single and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Sandstrom got on a fielders choice and scored on with single by Guzzo. After a single and stolen base by Katherine Michalski put runners at second and third, a bunt single by Babbitt scored Guzzo and moved Michalski to third that ended up scoring on a throwing error.
Sandstrom went the distance on the mound for the Mariners and picked up the victory. She gave up six hits and walked none.
Guzzo and Solberg each had two hits and Guzzo scored twice. Babbitt finished with two RBIs.
Ellen Becker took the loss for the Gophers.
“It was a great experience for us,” Guzzo said about the team’s state tournament berth. “We should stay quite strong for next year.”
The team lost Kyla Thorne, Alexi Warnecke, Huss and Michalski to graduation.
The Mariners finish their season with a record of 20-8.
Sandstrom was named to the All Tournament Team.