Kardinals topple SkyHi in softball

Posted: Friday, May 27, 2011

Skyview pitcher Sam Reynolds wore sunglasses with hot-pink rims to shield her eyes in the third inning.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Skyview's Maddy Day makes a catch for an out Thursday in a game against Kenai.

Before she could register three outs, the opponent's bats got hot.

Kenai Central scored eight runs in the third to earn a 10-2 Northern Lights Conference victory in the regular-season finale for both squads on a sunny Tuesday evening at Steve Shearer Memorial Park.

The Kards finish 6-5 overall and 4-5 in the NLC, while the Panthers failed to win a game for the third straight season.

The contest was called in the bottom of the fifth due to the 90-minute time rule.

"It took us awhile to get the bats rolling, but once we got the bats rolling, that was it," Kenai Central coach Mark King said. "That's been our strength this year -- the defense and the bats."

The game was tied at 2 entering the bottom of the third.

Havan Shaginoff, who went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, doubled to open the inning and scored on a Briana King dribbler to third when Skyview's Victoria Oberts sent a throw over the first baseman's head.

The Kards then loaded the bases with two outs and Hope Steffensen sent a sharp grounder through Oberts' legs into left field, scoring two.

After Carly Norvelle walked to load the bases for a second time, Shaginoff hit a three-run double to deep left. Briana King finished the scoring with an RBI single past the shortstop.

Skyview never recovered.

"We just kind of got pumped up and decided to go out on a high note," said Sarah Bressler, one of Kenai Central's four recent graduates.

The cushion was plenty for Briana King, who had six walks and seven strikeouts over five innings.

Although she was wild at times, the pitcher kept Skyview guessing with a blend of fastballs and off-speed pitches.

Both the Panthers' runs came in the top of the third. The first was on a wild throw from catcher Norvelle on a snap throw to third and the second was on a wild pitch.

"There were a couple pitches that were everywhere, but I kind of narrowed in there at the end," Briana King said.

Meanwhile, Reynolds was inconsistent but threw well at times.

She walked five, but had to overcome sporadic play from the defense.

"We didn't help ourselves by committing error after error," Skyview coach Steve Schoessler said.

Schoessler said his squad's pitch selection was spotty as the hitters looked at strikes and swung at balls.

However, the team doesn't lose any players for next season and figures to improve, the coach added.

All but three of Skyview's players were freshmen this season.

"They are starting to pick up playing the game rather than just out there playing a position," Schoessler said. "They are starting to look and see -- 'Oh, I can go on a passed ball, there are runners behind me' -- so they are starting to understand the game. That's nice to see."

Mark King and the players said the future is bright for the Kards as well.

Briana King returns, as does the majority of the starting lineup.

The squad loses Bressler, Shaina Aho, Samantha Little and Hannah Coffman.

"We have a lot of young people coming up so I think we are going to be a lot stronger than we were this year," Briana King said.

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