Softball: Pine Island edges Goodhue
GOODHUE – Through five innings, Goodhue did little wrong, holding Pine Island to a single base runner.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats were able to push a run across despite having just three base runners of their own.
With a 1-0 lead, Goodhue took the field in the top of the sixth, needing six outs to get a Hiawatha Valley League victory. By the time the Wildcats grabbed the bats in the bottom of the inning, Pine Island held a 3-1 lead, which would hold up through the final nine outs of the game.
A walk, a double, and two singles pushed across the Panthers’ runs. After striking out eight times through the first five innings, Pine Island put bat to ball in the final two innings.
“That was the one hard hit in the whole game, from both sides, really,” said Goodhue head coach Chris Irvin of Haley Drazan’s double. “But I take it back to the leadoff walk. We talk about that all the time as baseball and softball managers. About 70 percent of the time, that leadoff walk is going to score, and in softball it might even be higher.”
Indeed, the walk did come around to score, as did Drazan. The Wildcats got out of the inning with a double play on a soft liner to third that Alyssa Bien snagged and threw to Brittney Ryan at first base.
Goodhue had chances to tie, including a first-and-third situation with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning that saw Bailey Kreisler get hit with a batted ball on a steal attempt, negating at least one run.
In the seventh, the Wildcats got the first two batters on base, but a fly out and two ground balls ended the threat and the game.
With the season still young, it was perhaps no surprise that both teams struggled offensively in the early part of the game.
“We had a game Tuesday, and a double header last night,” Irvin said. “Last night, the pitching wasn’t as accurate as it was tonight, so we were a little unfocused at the beginning of this game. I told the team after the game that we need to have those focused at bats from the sixth and seventh right from the get-go.”
The Wildcats (2-2) finished with just four hits on offense, including two from Ashley Thompson and one each from Katelyn Lexvold and Ryan. Pearson finished with eight strikeouts while allowing four hits, a walk and three earned runs.
Goodhue heads to Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Monday.