By STUART GROSKREUTZ
NORTH ST. PAUL – Eight different players collected at least one hit and relative newcomers Sidnee Ronsberg and Emily Ramberg each drove two hits to help send Stillwater to a 6-4 nonconference softball victory over Eagan on Friday at McKnight Fields.
Hannah Heacox gave up four hits and five walks with nine strikeouts in the complete game – and none of Eagan’s four runs were earned.
The Ponies (11-7) outhit Eagan 13-4 and enjoyed a 6-1 lead until the Wildcats made things interesting with three runs in the bottom of the seventh.
"It got a little more exciting than we would have liked," Stillwater coach Bob Beedle said.
A two-out error extended the game and the Wildcats followed with a single, a bases-loaded walk and two-run double by Leigh Sass to pull within 6-4 with runners on second and third before Heacox recorded the final out.
Eagan managed just one hit off Heacox until the seventh.
"She threw a very solid game," Beedle said.
Heacox also drove a base hit that led to Stillwater’s first run in the second inning. Ramberg then reached on an error and Dani Wigen followed with an RBI double for a 1-0 lead.
The Ponies extended their lead with two runs in the third. Haley Balzart singled to start the inning and Allison Eder-Zdechlik pushed a bunt through the vacated area around second base to score Balzart. Natalie Gerber followed with a base hit to score Eder-Zdechlik for a three-run cushion.
Dani Wigen doubled in the fourth inning and scored from second on an unconventional squeeze play on a bunt by Hart. Wigen never slowed down and scored on the play while Hart was also safe on the throw to first. Eder-Zdechlik followed with a double to score Hart for a 5-0 lead.
After Eagan broke through for a run in the bottom of the fourth, Ronsberg launched a solo homer over the left-field fence for a 6-1 lead – a memorable way to cap her first-ever varsity start.
Ronsberg and Ramberg have been solid producers on the JV for much of the season, but the sophomores earned recent promotions to the varsity and have fit right in.
"The legal firm of Ramberg & Ronsberg," Beedle quipped. "They have both performed real well."
Stillwater0 1 2 2 0 0 1-6132
Eagan0 0 0 1 0 0 3-441
WP: Hannah Heacox 7-ip, 4-h, 4-r, 0-er, 5-bb, 9-so
LP: Gretchen Nelson
Leading hitters: St, Allison Eder-Zdechlik 3×4 (2 RBI), Carlie Hart 1×4 (RBI), Haley Balzart 1×4, Natalie Gerber 1×4 (RBI), Hannah Heacox 1×3, Sidnee Ronsberg 2×4 (RBI), Emily Ramberg 2×4 and Dani Wigen 2×4 (2 2B, RBI); Eag, Leigh Sass 2×4 (2 RBI).