Slugging Spartans sink ProctorThe Superior High School softball team used the long ball once again to defeat the Proctor Rails 12-3 and improve to 6-0 on the season Tuesday evening at the Superior Middle School.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
The Superior High School softball team used the long ball once again to defeat the Proctor Rails 12-3 and improve to 6-0 on the season Tuesday evening at the Superior Middle School.
The Spartans belted two home runs Tuesday, a three-run shot by Taylor Johnson and solo homer by Jessica Lindstrom to gradually pull away from the Rails.
Superior has already hit 10 home runs this season.
“The only time I can think we were close to hitting home runs like this was in 2008 when we had players like Ashley Martin, Chelsey Jarzin and Amanda LeBard,” SHS coach Amy Zembo said. “They might have been close, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t hit them like we are so far this year.
“Being stuck in the gym for six weeks has allowed us to get in a lot of extra swings in the batting cage. That, along with our BFS (Bigger, Faster, Stronger) Program, I think have had a big impact on the strength of our kids.”
Five of the Spartans’ 10 home runs came in Monday’s 17-8 nine-inning win at Grantsburg, including four in a nine-run ninth inning.
“Our hitting has been unbelievable,” said SHS shortstop Emily Hansen. “It was crazy at Grantsburg. Some of the girls started crying, it was just unreal. We’ve been playing super and we’ve been getting hits from everybody in the lineup.”
Superior also had four doubles among 11 hits against Proctor — one each by Ari Jago, Tailor Schuster, Kaitlin Heinen and Emily Hansen.
Also for Superior, Gabby Gidley singled twice and knocked in a run; Heinen and Hansen hit a double and single apiece; Jago hit a two-run double and an RBI groundout; Schuster had an RBI double; and Morgan Gramstrup singled.
“Every batter, one through nine, I have confidence in every one of them,” Zembo said. “Against Grantsburg we had a few more errors than I’d like, but defensively we haven’t been outside enough to play like I know we can.”
Alison Wainionpaa was once again the workhorse on the mound for Superior. One day after throwing more than 140 pitches at Grantsburg, the senior threw 145 more pitches in a complete-game effort Tuesday. She allowed hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
“Alison’s been pitching well,” Zembo said. “Her pitch count was up pretty high today, but that’s expected pitching back-to-back days. She started feeling it a bit in the sixth and seventh innings and her hip started hurting, but she battled through and pitched a great game.”
Wainionpaa’s only blemishes were a RBI single by Reilly Fawcett in the first inning, Holly Stanaway’s home run in the second and Krista Mottonen’s RBI single in the sixth.
Abby Denzler and Stanaway pitched for Proctor, allowing 11 hits with one strikeout and five walks.
Trailing 1-0, Superior tied the game up in the top of the second inning when Wainionpaa walked, courtesy runner Haley Siers went to third on Heinen’s double and scored on Jago’s ground out.
Stanaway homered for Proctor in the bottom of the second inning and Lindstrom hit her solo home run in the top of the third.
Superior opened up a 7-2 lead fourth inning on Jago’s two-run double and Johnson’s three-run home run.
The Spartans made it 9-2 in the fifth inning on Schuster’s RBI double and Heinen’s sacrifice fly.
It went to 11-2 in the sixth when Gidley hit an RBI single and Lindstrom, who walked, scored on a wild pitch.
Briana Mehling doubled and scored on Krista Mottonen’s single in the sixth inning, but the Spartans got that run back in the top of the seventh thanks to a couple of errors.
The Spartans are scheduled to host Duluth East for a doubleheader at 4 p.m. Thursday, but more snow is in the forecast.
“When we came into the dugout after the game I got a winter-weather advisory on my phone,” Zembo said. “Hopefully it misses us and we get another game in.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Despite all the recent snow, and a heavy rain on Tuesday morning, the SMS field was in great condition. “I can’t thank the coaches from Rampage (youth softball team) enough for working for hours and hours to get the fields ready for us,” Zembo said. “They really put in the time to get it ready for us. We’re very happy for that.” … The SHS JV also won 8-4 Tuesday. Abby Hansen was the winnining pitcher with four strikeouts.