The BPHS softball team split its two games this past week, beating conference rival, Jordan, before falling to New Prague.
The BPHS softball team split its two games this past week, beating conference rival, Jordan, before falling to New Prague.
by Dan Ruud
The Belle Plaine High School softball team captured its Minnesota River Conference opener in impressive fashion with a 5-2 victory over rival Jordan last Tuesday in Belle Plaine. Then came a potent New Prague team that steam-rolled the Tigers 15-3 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.
Belle Plaine, 1-0 in the MRC, 1-2 overall, was scheduled to host Mayer Lutheran in a MRC game Tuesday after this edition of the Herald went to press. The Tigers will be at Tri-City United for another conference game 5 p.m. this Thursday.
Tigers 5, Jordan 2
The Jaguars took an 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the Tigers tied the score in their first at-bat and then took command with three runs in the bottom of the second en route to a 5-2 victory last Tuesday in Belle Plaine.
Emma Luskey pitched the distance for the Tigers, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks. She struck out eight.
Belle Plaine collected eight hits, with Elizabeth Johnson and Taylor Mullen getting two apiece. Johnson also had three RBI. Hailey Witt, Jessica Prader, Lauren Johnson and Mia Pribyl had the other hits.
“This was a strong win for us,” said Tigers coach Luke Audette. “Our defense played fantastic. A couple of key hits with runners on base allowed us to come away with a victory.”
New Prague 15, Tigers 3
New Prague came to Belle Plaine having won their first four games, defeating big schools East Ridge, Edina, Burnsville and Mankato West all by three runs or more.
The Trojans scored a run in their first at-bat only to see the Tigers plate two in the bottom of the first inning to take a short-lived 2-1 lead. Back-to-back home runs to begin the second inning put New Prague on top to stay and Belle Plaine returned to the dugout for its second at-bat trailing 7-2. The Trojans added a third home run late in the game that helped induce the 10-run rule. New Prague finished with 21 hits.
“We knew going in that New Prague would be a big challenge,” Audette said. “Our pitchers threw strikes, which is what we asked them to do and the ball was hit hard. A couple untimely errors compounded that fact. We definitely let this game get out of hand early. However, I was impressed with the patients and composure of our younger players as they continued to swing the bats aggressively.”
Being the punching bags on the pitching rubber for Belle Plaine were Lauren Johnson, who survived the first inning by allowing just one run before surrendering four runs in the second inning without recording an out. Jessica Brueggemeier came on in relief and lasted the final four innings but not before giving up 10 runs, 14 hits and three walks. She had two strikeouts.
The Tigers had 12 hits, with Lauren Johnson and Prader having three and two, respectively. Having one apiece were Elizabeth Johnson, Jade Hipp, Mullen, Hannah Witt, Lilly Olson, Gabrielle VonBank and Pribyl.