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PREVIEW: Spartans open season with 16-6 victory at Hudson

Superior High School's Erin Thompson (8) scores on a passed ball in the first inning of the Spartans' 16-6 season-opening win Friday at Hudson (Bob Burrows/Hudson Star-Observer photo)1 / 2
Superior High School pitcher Brandie Goldberg delivers a pitch to the plate in the Spartans' 16-6 season-opening win Friday at Hudson. (Bob Burrows/Hudson Star-Observer photo)2 / 2

Things are looking pretty good for the Superior High School softball team this season.

The Spartans return eight starters and only had one player graduate from last season’s team that went 19-6 overall and won the Lake Superior Conference championship with a 7-0 mark.

To top that off, Superior will be playing on its new artificial turf field, which is located behind SHS.

Leading the Spartans into the new season is senior pitcher Brandie Goldberg, a Minnesota Duluth recruit who went 15-5 last season with a 1.02 ERA and 257 strikeouts in 151 1 /3 innings. At the plate she batted .342 with 21 RBIs.

The Spartans also return their entire infield — Lanie DeMeyer (catcher), Mady Stariha (1B), Hannah Thul (2B), Allie Thul (SS) and Erika Olson (3B). All are seniors, expect Stariha, who is a sophomore.

Returning starters in the outfield are senior Natalie Olson (LF) and junior Erin Thompson (CF). Other outfielders include junior Maddy Graham, sophomore Autumn Siers and freshman Kayleigh Miller.

The only player lost through graduation was outfielder Mackenzie Kmecik, who is now playing basketball at UW-Superior.

“With all of the experience we have returning we hope to have a season that matches last year — but with a little more luck,” SHS coach Mike Sather said. “Despite all of that experience, there’s still room to continue to improve at all aspect of the game of softball.

“Another one of our goals is to develop as a complete team, develop individual characters as a whole person and keep building confidence in ourselves and our teammates.”

Sather sees his Spartans competing for another LSC title with plenty of competition from the entire league.

“We should be able to compete in each conference game,” Sather said.

The Spartans got the season off on the right foot with a 16-6 win at Hudson Friday.

Stariha had three of Superior’s 16 hits to go along with six RBIs.

The Spartans also got a big game from Thompson, who doubled twice, singled once, drove in two runs and scored five times.

Also for Superior, E. Olson was 3-for-4 and scored four runs; Goldberg was 2-for-3 with two RBIs; DeMeyer and N. Olson had a hit and RBI apiece; and H. Thul had a hit and scored three runs.

Adding to Superior’s total were sophomore designated hitter Olivia Hunker, who had single and RBI; and sophomore Madison Sislo, who singled and scored a run.

Goldberg was the winning pitcher, allowing nine hits with seven strikeouts.

Superior took an 11-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning. After Hudson avoided losing by the 10-run rule with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Spartans plated five more run in the top of the seventh. The Raiders finished the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Last year’s Spartans won five of their first six games before losing four straight, including two games at the Lakeville North Tournament and two games at Rice Lake.

Superior bounced back and rattled off 14 straight wins, which included winning two games at the Becker Tournament, sweeping a doubleheader at Eau Claire North and winning the Lake Superior Conference with consecutive wins over Cloquet, Duluth Denfeld, Hermantown and Ashland.

The Spartans finished the regular season with a sweep at Menomonie.

In the WIAA playoffs, Superior defeated Menomonie 6-0 at home, but then saw its season end with a 2-1 loss at D.C. Everest. The Spartans led 1-0 after four innings, but DCE tied it up in the bottom of the seventh inning, then won it in the ninth.

Superior host Proctor at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

SPARTAN SPIN: Sather’s assistant coaches are Brock Sather, Dave Meyer, John Gidley, John Heinen, Randy Hill, Katie Dalley, Bobbie Greeley and Scout Meyer. … The team’s manager is Jazmine Wilkinson. … Superior’s last state tournament appearance was in 1993. The Spartans also advanced to state in 1976, 1977 and 1978.

Superior.......... 205       202      7    —    16    16   1

Hudson........... 000       003      3    —      6     9   5

 

Superior High School

2017 Softball Roster

Head Coach: Mike Sather

1  Autumn Siers..................... OF          So.

3  Natalie Olson................... IF/OF         Sr.

5  Lanie DeMeyer................ C/1B         Sr.

8  Erin Thompson............... SS/OF        Jr.

11 Kayleigh Miller................. OF           Fr.

12 Olivia Hunker.................. IF/OF         Jr.

13 Brandie Goldberg............... P            Sr.

14 Erika Olson....................... 3B           Sr.

19 Maddy Graham................. OF           Jr.

21 Madison Sislo.................. OF          So.

27 Hannah Thul..................... 2B           Sr.

30 Allie Thul....................... SS/OF        Sr.

37 Madysen Stariha............ P/1B         So.

SHS JV Roster

6  Desiree Jensen............... IF/OF         11

7  Mckenzie Lehto................ IF/C          10

11 Kaileigh Miller............... OF/1B         9

12 Olivia Hunker.................. IF/OF         11

13 Kayleigh Schuster.......... IF/OF         11

19 Jalyn Blank.................... OF/C          9

20 Lyvia Olson.................... IF/OF         10

21 Madison Sislo.................. OF           10

22 Gabbie Wallace.............. IF/OF         11

24 Alee Milinkovich-Gray...... IN           11

28 Kansas Johnsen............ IF/OF          9

31 Autumn Siers.................. OF/C         10

32 Olivia Moen...................... OF           10

34 Caitlynn Martineau............ P            11

35 Allison Malec.................... IN            9

36 Taylor Routley................. P/IF           9

Superior High School

2017 Softball Schedule

Fri., March 31..... at Hudson (W 16-6)

Thur., April 6....... vs. Proctor, 4:30 p.m.

Tue., April 11...... at Grantsburg, 5 p.m.

Thur., April 13..... vs. Northwestern, 4:30 p.m.

Mon., April 17..... at Bloomer, 4:30 p.m.

Tue., April 25...... at Hermantown, 4:30 p.m.

Fri., April 28........ vs. E.C. Mem. (2), 4:30 p.m.

Sat., April 29...... Blaine Invite (2), TBD

Mon., May 1....... at Rice Lake, 5 p.m.

Tue., May 2........ vs. E.C. North (2), 4:30 p.m.

Thur., May 4....... vs. Duluth East, 4:30 p.m.

Sat., May 6......... Becker Invite (3), 10 a.m.

Tue., May 9........ vs. Cloquet, 4:30 p.m.

Wed., May 10..... at Marshall, 4:30 p.m.

Sat., May 13....... Chip. Falls Invite (3), 11:00

Tue., May 16...... at Duluth Denfeld, 4:30 p.m.

Thur., May 18..... at Ashland, 4:30 p.m.

Sat., May 20....... vs. Menomonie (2), 11 a.m.

Wed., May 24..... WIAA Regional Semi

Fri., May 26........ WIAA Regional Final

Tue., May 30...... WIAA Sectional Semi

Thur., June 1...... WIAA Sectional at C.F.

June 8-10         WIAA State – Madison

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