Softball: Polars pound ball past Pioneers

Behind the 3-hit pitching of Haley Schanks, the North Polars banged out 15 hits in 6-inning rout of the Hill-Murray Pioneers at Hill-Murray May 6.

Leading the 15-hit attack by the Polars was Carli Langevin. The junior outfielder gained the winning run in the top of the second inning with a one-out blast that carried 219 feet over the left field fence. Her “tater” gave the Polars a 1-0 margin and what turned out to be the winning run.

The one run was all North hurler Haley Schanks would need as she shut down the Pioneers who had just one runner reach third base and that came in the bottom of the sixth.

The one runner was Jacqueline Kaasa who smacked a solid double into the left field corner. She went to third on a sacrifice bunt and was out at the plate when she attempted to score on an infield ground ball. 

Other than the solid double by Kaasa, Schanks allowed only one other ball to be  hit to the outfield. She recorded five strikeouts, two infield hits and walked three.

Following the second inning round-tripper by Langevin, North picked up two more runs in the inning on back-to-back singles by Mady Strom and Allison Knutson. An infield error on a ball banged by Kayla Koemptgen scored Strom. A single into short right field plated Knutson and North was up 3-0 heading into the bottom of two.

In the upper third, Julia Tanzer worked a leadoff walk. Erin Jungman singled to right, C. Langevin was safe on an error and Strom sent a sacrifice fly to left to score Tanzer.

Still sending them out

In the first of the fourth the Polars continued tattooing the ball. Katelyn Stepaniak led off with a single to left. She was picked off trying to steal second. Schanks helped her own cause by belting a double into left centerfield. C. Langevin picked up her second RBI with a looping single into center as Abby Gaus — running for Schanks — crossed the plate.

Tanzer moved to second on the peg to the plate, She came home a couple of batters later on a single to left by C. Langevin.

The Polars went down in order in their half of the fifth, but picked up all they would need in the top of the sixth.

Tanzer led off the seventh with a solid shot to right  centerfield for a double. Jungman was safe when she beat out a slow roller to the left side. C. Langevin picked up her third RBI and third hit with a shot to left as Tanzer scored. A single by Knutson sent Jungman home.

A couple of infield errors by Hill-Murray allowed a couple of more runs as the Polars put a big 10 up on the scoreboard.

When the Pioneers couldn’t manage a run in the bottom of the sixth, the game was over.

“We hit the ball well against their top pitcher,” stated North coach Cliff Charpentier. “Our pitcher (Haley Schanks) threw well. We played well in the field. Overall, other than leaving too many runners on the bases (10), it was a good game for us. We’ll play them on the dirt anytime.”

From the Hill-Murray point of view, head coach Colleen Conway agreed. “They hit the ball against us. But we didn’t do much to help our cause. We made too many errors, both mental and physical. We made mistakes on plays that we shouldn’t make. I don’t mean to take anything away from North, but we gave them too many opportunities.”

Next up the teams will begin section  4AAA  play May 20 at the home of the highest seed.

In  case of inclement weather, rescheduled contests may be found by going to www.classicsuburban.org and choosing a sport.

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