A nine-run ninth inning lifted the Superior High School softball team to a 17-8 victory over the Grantsburg Pirates Monday evening at Grantsburg.
With the score tied 8-8, the Spartans flexed their muscles with four home runs in the ninth inning to improve to 5-0 on the season.
Emily Hansen led off the ninth inning with a home run. After Jessica Lindstrom singled and Katie Heinen reached on an error, Alison Wainionpaa belted a three-run home run. Tailor Schuster followed with a solo home run, which was followed by Ari Jago drawing a walk, Hansen hitting a single and both scoring on Lindstrom’s three-run home run.
“Our bats came alive when we needed them in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings,” SHS coach Amy Zembo said. “I don’t think anyone at the field has ever witnessed that many home runs in a high school softball game, let alone four in one inning.
“Grantsburg always plays us tough. They are state contenders in Division 3 almost every season of late.”
Wainionpaa finished the game with two home runs and five RBIs. Schuster was 3-for-5 with a home run, triple and two RBIs; Taylor Johnson was 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs; and Gabby Gidley had three hits and two RBIs.
For Grantsburg, Stephanie McKenzie and Wendy Roberts each had two hits and an RBI; and Hope Tucker had a home run, two singles and an RBI.
Wainionpaa also picked up the complete-game victory, allowing 10 hits with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Only three of Grantsburg’s runs were earned.
Trailing 1-0, Superior scored four runs in the third inning when Johnson and Hansen single, Lindstrom walked and Gidley hit a two-run single. Heinen then reached on fielder’s choice, which scored Lindstrom. Kari Miller, who was running for Gidley, then scored on an error.
Grantsburg answered with its own four-run inning in the fourth frame thanks to a couple of hits mixed in with a couple of Superior errors.
Superior tied the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning on Johnson’s two-run home run, which scored Rachel Fregin, who reached on an error.
Grantsburg regained the lead in the bottom of the inning with a couple of hits but Superior regained an 8-7 lead in the top of the seventh when Gidley singled and scored on Wainionpaa’s second home run of the game.
Grantsburg responded and forced extra inning with a three-single bottom of the seventh inning.
Superior will play Proctor at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Superior Middle School, then host Duluth East for a doubleheader Thursday before wrapping up the week with three games at the Becker Tournament Saturday.