Spartans all smiles with 12-0 record
It’s easy to see why the Superior High School softball team is having so much fun this season.
After all, they are 13-0 on the season after wins of 9-2 and 10-3 over Eau Claire North Tuesday evening at the NBC Spartan Sports Complex. (The Spartans improved to 13-0 with a 3-2 win over Duluth East on Thursday).
Really enjoying herself Tuesday was senior shortstop Allie Thul, who went a combined 6-for-8 (3-for-4 in both games) with three RBIs.
“It’s crazy thinking about it (being 12-0), it’s a blast winning,” Thul said. “We’ve been playing some of our best ball lately, everybody’s connecting right now and hitting really well.
“For me, it was two of my best games. I’m starting to realize what I can do with my slap hitting and swinging from both sides (of the plate).
Thul also flashed some leather on defense in the second game, snaring a couple of line drives in the sixth inning and then an over-her-head catch in shallow left field in the seventh.
“I love offense, but defense is so much fun, especially when we do get more action,” Thul said. “Because we have two very good pitchers we usually don’t get much action. But when I get the ball, it’s exciting.
“It’s just fun being on the field.”
Superior also enjoyed pretty good pitching as Brandie Goldberg and Mady Stariha picked up dominating wins on the mound.
Goldberg, a senior, tossed a five-hitter in the opener with 13 strikeouts and no walks. The senior finished with 96 pitches, including 73 strikes.
Stariha, a sophomore, allowed three hits with six strikeouts, two walks and a hit batter in game two. She threw 91 pitches, including 58 strikes.
Goldberg also had four of Superior’s 33 hits on the day, including 3-for-3 with four RBIs in game two.
“Hitting like we did makes it fun for everybody and the pitching was obviously very good, too,” SHS coach Mike Sather said. “Overall it was a pretty good night. There were times we weren’t as focused as we should have been, but sometimes it’s hard when you’re up by six or eight runs. The momentum can change at any time, so you always have to be ready.”
Natalie Olson also had two hits in each game, including an RBI triple and RBI single in the opener.
Stariha also had two hits and an RBI; Hannah Thul had two hits; Erin Thompson and Lanie DeMeyer had RBI singles; and Erika Olson and Olivia Hunker had singles.
The Spartans, who scored four runs in the first inning of the opener, scored six times in the opening frame of game two, keyed by a two-run double by Maddy Graham, a two-run single by Goldberg and a RBI bunt single by H. Thul.
Also in game two, Graham, E. Olson, Thompson, DeMeyer and N. Olson all finished with two hits; McKenzie Lehto doubled; and Stariha singled.
Lexie Revie took the loss for the Huskies in the opener with one strikeout and three walks.
Both of ECN’s runs came in on Liz Black’s pinch-hit single in the fifth inning.
Mackenzie Gilbert took the loss in game two.
Annamarie Holtz and Alex Fischer had hits for North, which scored on a double steal in the second inning and twice in the third on an error.
The Spartans host Duluth East at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and then three games in the Becker Tournament on Saturday.
Superior will play Park Center (1-7) at 10 a.m. Saturday then either St. Michael-Albertville or Ricori at noon. The Spartans’ third game is at 2 p.m.
A possible match-up for Superior could be Anoka (9-0), which is ranked No. 3 in Class 4A in Minnesota. The Tornados defeated No. 6 Blaine 3-0 Tuesday night.
The Spartans, who defeated Anoka 2-1 in last year’s title game, defeated Blaine 6-5 at last weekend’s Blaine tournament.
Eau Claire North........... 000 020 0 — 2 5 4
Superior...................... 411 111 x — 9 14 2
Superior...................... 621 001 0 — 10 19 1
Eau Claire North 012 000 0 — 3 3 2