In the opener, the Cards scored five times in the first inning and three more times in the second to set the stage for the lopsided, ten-run rule win as they pounded out 17 hits in posting the 11 runs.
Brook Nagurski pitched her first complete game for the Cardinals with eight strikeouts in the five innings of work as she spaced the six hits by the Royals. Sydney Alery led the hit parade against the Royals, going 3X4 with three RBI’s. Also registering two hits each were Sami Kay Shafranski, Hannah Raflik, Ashley Fuchs, Chrissy Shafranski, Taylor Raflik, Nicole Schroeder and Emma Kulick.
“We seemed to see the ball real well against Assumption,” said Coach Ann Molski. “We strung some hits together and played great defense in earning the win. It was a good team win for us.”
But the Pacelli good fortune was short-lived as they fell behind against Division 4 top-ranked Laconia as the Spartans scored three times in the top half of the first; scoring a pair after a dropped fly ball and slow roller had netted the Spartans runners on first and second with one out for a hit by Payton Kastenschmidt. Loryn Strook followed with a hit up the middle to plate the Spartans third run.
The Cardinals bounced back to tie the game in the bottom of the third with Sami Shafranski dropping a bunt to the third base side and beating out the infield single to open the inning. With one out Alery singled to left and Hannah Raflik doubled just inside the left field foul line for twin rbi’s. Chrissy Shafranski followed with a drive off the right fielder’s glove, scoring the tying run.
In the top of the sixth, Laconia got the difference-makers while seizing opportunity. After a missed catch on a foul pop, Kayla Schwebke singled to left. Another drop in the field of play left runners on second and third with a fly to right off the Pacelli fielder’s glove with two outs allowing a 5-3 lead.
Pacelli did their best to rally in the bottom of the seventh as Schroeder offered a drag bunt which got her to first base. Eva Barton’s bunt past a charging third baseman left everyone safe with runners on first and second.
Sami Shafranski then followed with her hit dropping just over third base with the fielder’s throw attempt to gain the force at third off target. With bases loaded and no outs, a game-winning rally seemed quite possible but Laconia’s outstanding pitcher, Schwebke, had other ideas as she struck out the next three batters to end the game.
“We had five errors and each one led to a run (by Laconia) so that was disappointing. We talked about it afterwards and the girls agreed that in each case, we just didn’t finish the play the way we’re capable of. Bottom line, we didn’t move our feet to put us in the best position to make the putouts.”
Pacelli pitcher Kaylee Krostag likely deserved better, taking the loss despite spacing eight hits and striking out three in seven innings.
Pacelli Coach Ann Molski’s squad now begins conference play in earnest, hosting Bonduel Monday and Iola-Scandinavia on Friday and traveling to Amherst on Tuesday with all three games slated for 4:30 PM first pitches.