PREP SOFTBALL: Tigers drop doubleheader against Pipestone Area
MARSHALL - The red-hot Pipestone Area softball team entered Tuesday’s doubleheader with Marshall in the midst of a nine-game winning streak that dates back all the way to their second game of the season. Showing no signs of cooling off any time soon, the Arrows kept their impressive streak alive by taking down the Tigers in both contests in final scores of 16-5 and 10-3, respectively.
Reflecting on the team’s performance, Marshall coach Jack Houseman came away pleased with the performances of both starting pitchers, but was disappointed to see some fielding mishaps carry over from their previous twinbill against Waseca.
“I thought Ashleigh (Steinbach) put us in a good position there. We keep having a few defensive mishaps there and we didn’t get the bats going in that first one,” said Houseman. “We still have to work on getting out of situations there. I thought Kayla (Polejewski) did a good job in Game 2 and again we had defensive mistakes that we shouldn’t make.”
In the opener of the doubleheader, the Marshall bats took some time to heat up. Unfortunately, by the time that they started to find their rhythm, they were staring down a 6-0 deficit after the Arrows drove in four runs in the top of the third inning via a pair of two-run home runs.
Undeterred, the Tigers continued to battle when it was their time to step into the batter’s box in the bottom of the third inning and ended up trimming the deficit to five runs when Lenei Estrada picked up an RBI single that drove in Brenna Springborg.
In the innings that followed, the Tigers generated a total of four more runs including a solo home run by Shelby Versaevel. The four runs would not be enough, however, as the Arrows scored at least one run in each frame to close out the game, and put an exclamation mark on their victory with a six-run seventh inning to win 16-5.
Right out of the gate in Game 2 it appeared that the Tigers were determined to get off to a stronger start than they had in the opener. With a tempo-setting opening frame in the circle from starting pitcher Polejewski, Marshall did just that and carried the momentum over into the batter’s box their first time up with a three-run first inning.
The offensive outburst for Marshall began with a single by Estrada, followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from Paige Andries and Wendorff to give the Tigers their only lead of the series at 2-1. Timmerman would later make it 3-1 with a clutch two-out RBI single to push the lead to 3-1 before the final out of the inning was tallied.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the Arrows went right back to work in the second inning to retake the lead at 5-3. Once again, fielding errors proved costly for the Tigers and were a catalyst in the four-run frame for Pipestone.
Still down by only a pair of runs, the Tigers had multiple opportunities to chip away at the deficit, but came up empty time and time again leaving runners stranded in their at-bats. Polejewski did her best to keep the Arrows off the board and succeeded in the third and fourth innings, but Pipestone would eventually break through in the fifth and seventh innings with a total of five more runs to win 10-3.
Acknowledging that the game was there for the taking, Houseman was disappointed that the team could not capitalize when they needed to.
“We just need to overcome the later innings,” said Houseman. “We hang around the first few innings and we usually give up a lead and then we kind of wait around for good things to happen instead of taking games away from people. I think we had an opportunity in that second one to do that and put up some big numbers there but we failed to do that.”
Next up for the Tigers is a doubleheader at home against Luverne on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Pipestone Area 16, Marshall 5
Pipestone Area 024 112 6 — 16 12 2
Marshall 001 011 2 — 5 11 1
HITTING: Marshall (Springborg 1-2, run; Estrada 3-4, RBI; Ariasola 2-2; Timmerman 2-3; Wendorff 2-3; Versaevel 1-4 HR)
Pipestone Area 10, Marshall 3
Pipestone Area 140 030 2 — 10 9 0
Marshall 300 000 0 — 3 7 3
HITTING: Marshall (Schaefer 1-3; Polejewski 1-2; Wendorff 2-3; Andries 1-3; Estrada 1-3; Timmerman 1-3).