Spartans win first game on new field (updated)
The Superior High School softball team christened its new field at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex with a 7-6 victory over the Proctor Rails Thursday evening.
The evening got underway with a first-pitch ceremony, which included the Spartans’ six seniors — Natalie Olson, Lanie DeMeyer, Brandie Goldberg, Erika Olson and Hannah and Allie Thul.
Throwing the pitches were current head coach Mike Sather; former coaches Amy Zembo and Greg Campbell; SHS principal Kent Bergum; and school board president Len Albrecht.
“This is probably one of the best complexes in the whole state,” Sather said. “These girls are lucky, I’m lucky and Superior as a whole is lucky. This is something that will be around for a long time and is great for softball, kids, fans and Superior in general.”
The Spartans made history right away on the new field as H. Thul led off the game reaching on an error, stole second and scored the field’s first run on Madysen Stariha’s groundout.
Proctor’s Erin Hawk will also be the answer to a trio of trivia questions in the future when her second-inning home run provided the field’s first hit, home run and RBI.
The Spartans finished with six hits, led by Stariha, who hit a two-run home run and knocked in a run with a groundout. Olson also had an RBI triple and an RBI groundout; Erin Thompson hit a run-scoring double; Natalie Olson had an RBI single; and A. Thul and Maddy Graham both singled.
“We didn’t have a whole lot of hits, but we had them when they counted, including Stariha’s home run,” Sather said. “We also had some good plays on defense and played good small ball.”
Proctor also had six hits, including two home runs and three RBIs from Hawk.
Skyler Gunderson added a two-run double; Lori Perich and Sam Perendo doubled; and Ashley Hanson singled.
The Spartans regained a 2-1 lead in the third inning when A. Thul reached on a bunt single, stole second and scored on E. Olson’s groundout.
The Rails took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third when Gunderson belted a two-run double and later scored on an error.
Superior tied it up in the fifth inning when Graham singled and scored on E. Olson’s two-out triple. Olson scored a batter later when Thompson doubled.
The Spartans took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Goldberg singled and courtesy runner Madison Sislo stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on N. Olson’s single to right.
Thompson drew a two-out walk and scored on Stariha’s home run in the seventh, giving the sophomore nine RBIs in Superior’s two games.
She also knocked in six runs in a season-opening 16-6 win at Hudson.
“Coming from behind to win is very important, especially early in the season,” Sather said. “That’s a lesson to be learned — when you’re behind you never give up. Coming back to win is something that will stick with the girls for the rest of the season.”
After surrendering four runs in the first three innings, Goldberg kept Proctor scoreless during the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, including striking out five straight batters.
But the Rails made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh when Hanson singled and scored on Hawk’s second home run of the game.
Goldberg settled down and secured the victory by striking out the next two batters.
Goldberg finished with 12 strikeouts and four walks, while Proctor’s Sarah Urban struck out four and walked four.
“It had to be a team today,” Sather said. “Brandie didn’t have her best stuff, so it was the team that won today.
“Proctor’s still young and last year they were as green as their uniforms. But they’re getting to be a really good softball team, and I think their future looks very good for them.”
The Spartans play at Grantsburg at 5 p.m. today and host Northwestern at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
SPARTAN SPIN: Ironically Proctor will go down as the first home team to play on the new SHS field. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Proctor but was moved because of an unplayable field. ... Superior’s first hit on the new field was A. Thul’s bunt single; H., Thul scored Superior’s first run; and Autumn Siers recorded the first outfield assist when she threw out a Proctor batter at first base after a clean hit to right field.
Superior............ 101 021 2 — 7 7 3
Proctor 013 000 2 — 6 6 2