By Ken McKenzie
The Pacelli girls’ softball team bounced back from a 1-0, first-inning deficit Friday in scoring a 11-1 decision over visiting Iola-Scandinavia to stay undefeated in conference play.
Showing off their strength in all aspects of play, the Cardinals seem to be laying claim to the top spot in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference while supporting their Division 4 second place ranking.
Pacelli pitcher Kaylee Krostag shut down the Thunderbirds with 60 pitches while spacing two more hits over five innings work and registering five strikeouts.
“Most pitchers would falter a bit after serving up a home run on the very first pitch of the game,” said Pacelli Coach Ann Molski. “My pitcher (Krostag) just sucked it up and bounced right back to pitch a great game. Our defense was great today and we had some good looks at the plate.
Taylor Raflik had a pop single to short left field advancing on a Sarah Mitch ground ball when the I-S defense attempted a force out with the throw winding up in right field. With two outs, Ashley Fuchs then drove the ball off the right fielder’s glove to score two runs.
Pacelli added another pair of runs in the second as Paige Hintz opened with a walk. With one out, Taylor Heuring fouled off numerous pitches until she hit a long single to right center. Sami Kay Shafranski then drove in both base runners with a triple to right.
In the third it was two more runs to move to a 6-1 lead. This time it was Hannah Raflik hitting a double over the center fielder’s head to lead off. With one out, Nicole Schroeder laid down a drop bunt that literally came to a stop in helping her to safe passage. One run scored on a ground out with Christy Shafranski following with a drive that short-hopped up against the center field fence to score Schroeder.
The Thunderbirds threatened in the fourth, putting on two runners on a pair of singles but Krostag pitched out of the jam, getting the strikeout on a pinch hitter to end the inning.
In the Pacelli fifth, Schroeder beat out an infield slap single with Hintz singling to center and Christy Shafranski drawing a walk to load the bases. Heuring delivered a single to left to score two and, after a pitching change, the Cardinals ended the game with their five-run burst invoking the ten-run rule with Fuchs delivering the blow to end the game.
Fuchs, Schroeder and Heuring each had multiple hit days to lead the 11-hit attack for Pacelli.
The Cardinals now host Shiocton, another of the ‘top four’ teams looking to challenge for the top rung in the Central Wisconsin 8 Conference. Game time is 4:30 PM Monday on Spud Field at Woyak Field, Plover. Shioction dropped a 4-0 decision to Iola-Scandinavia Thursday.