Conference road victories boost Panthers


Monticello second baseman Jacqueline Petersen winds to make a throw to first in the Panthers’ May 30 game at Wilton. (Photos courtesy of Lizzie Petersen)

Caitlyn Cruise of Monticello touches home plate for a run as the Wilton

Aspen Gillmore puts the ball in play for Monticello against Wilton.
SOFTBALL
By: 
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     It had been a tough start for the Monticello High School softball team, which lost its first three games.

     Last week, however, the Panthers got things turned around by grinding out a pair of big road victories in River Valley Conference play.

     Monticello collected 17 runs on 25 hits in the two wins, a 5-1 triumph at Wilton May 30, and a 12-10 decision at Mid-Prairie June 1.

     “Those were two of our longer road trips,” Monticello coach Bret McDonald said. “On the road, you never know.”

     It didn’t seem to faze the Panthers in the Wilton game, which McDonald called “by far our best game of the year.

     “It’s a cliché, but it was really a team win. We played really good defense, which was a night and day difference from our first three games. We didn’t beat ourselves. And Jaelynn Kraus did a great job of pitching. She kept them off-balance.”

     Kraus pitched a three-hitter to pick up her first win of the season. She was backed by an offense that scored in four different innings while collecting 11 hits.

     Tori McDonald and Kraus had RBI doubles, and the Panthers had RBI singles from Caitlyn Cruise and Sydney Hansen. Cruise batted 3-for-4, while Shay Stephen and Jacqueline Petersen had two hits apiece.

     On June 1, the Panthers prevailed in a high-scoring game at Mid-Prairie. Monticello scored four runs in the third inning to take a 7-3 lead, only to have the Golden Hawks come back to make it 7-6.

     In the top of the sixth, the Panthers scored four runs on consecutive RBI at bats. Stephen and Taylor McDonald hit back-to-back run-scoring doubles, Kraus followed with an RBI triple, and Rylee Warthen drove in another run with a sacrifice fly.

     The Panthers led 12-10 heading into the bottom of the seventh, then survived a four-run bottom half for Mid-Prairie to emerge with the win.

     “Sometimes you win ugly,” McDonald said. “We didn’t back up our pitcher real well, but we hit the ball extremely well. Several kids had multiple hits.”

     Taylor McDonald was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two stolen bases. Stephen, Kraus and Cruise had two hits apiece; Stephen had two doubles and drove in three runs.

     The Panthers were heading into a busy week this week, with eight varsity games in six days. Included is the Jesup tournament June 9-10. Monticello opens that event with a 12:30 p.m. game Friday against Edgewood-Colesburg.

 

May 30

Monticello 5, Wilton 1

MONTICELLO                            AB     R     H     BI

Stephen 3b                                    4      1      2      0

Ta. McDonald ss                            3      1      1      0

Kraus p                                          3      1      1      1

Warthen 1b                                    4      0      0      1

Cruise rf                                         4      2      3      1

Petersen 2b                                   4      0      2      0

Hansen cf                                      4      0      1      1

To. McDonald c                              4      0      1      1

Gillmore lf                                      3      0      0      0

Totals                                           33     5     11     4

Monticello                   012  011  0    –   5    11     1

Wilton                         000  000  1   –    1     3      2

LOB – Monticello 9, Wilton 8.

2B – Ta. McDonald, Kraus, To. McDonald.

SB – Cruise.

Monticello                  IP      H     R    ER   BB   SO

Kraus (W, 1-2)              7      3      1      1      8      2

Totals                           7      3      1      1      8      2

 

June 1

Monticello 12, Mid-Prairie 10

MONTICELLO                            AB    R     H     BI

Stephen 3b                                   5      1      2      3

Ta. McDonald ss                           5      3      4      2

Kraus p                                         4      1      2      1

Warthen dp                                    4      1      0      2

Cruise rf                                        3      1      2      1

Petersen 2b                                  4      2      1      1

Hansen cf                                      4      0      1      0

Gillmore lf                                      4      3      1      0

To. McDonald c                             4      0      1      0

Ries 1b                                          0      0      0      0

Totals                                          37    12    14    10

Monticello                   124  004  1    –   12   14     5

Mid-Prairie                  210  210  4    –   10     7     5

LOB – Mid-Prairie 11, Monticello 7.

3B – Kraus.

2B – Stephen 2, Ta. McDonald, Petersen,

Gillmore.

SB – Ta. McDonald 2, Kraus, Cruise, Hansen,

Gillmore.

Monticello                  IP      H     R   ER BB    SO

Kraus (W, 2-2)              7      7     10    5   10      6

Totals                           7      7     10    5   10      6

 

 

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