WHITE BEAR LAKE — They were dissimilar games, but each ended with a win for Stillwater as the Ponies swept White Bear Lake in Thursday’s Suburban East Conference softball doubleheader.
The Ponies (5-1 SEC, 5-1), who have won five in a row since dropping the season opener, used a 10-run sixth inning to pull away for a 15-1 victory in the opener and followed that up with a 7-6 triumph in the nightcap.
“White Bear Lake has a solid team and we’re happy to get out there with two wins,” Ponies coach Bob Beedle said. “Playing doubleheaders is a new experience and sometimes it’s hard for kids to maintain their energy from that first game when you win into the second game, which starts 0-0. If you win 15-1, sometimes it’s hard to re-engage your game face for the second game. That’s pretty common, but it’s something we’re going to need to work on because we’re going to play a lot of doubleheaders.”
Stillwater 15, WBL 1 (6)
Already in control with a 5-1 lead after five innings, the Ponies exploded for 10 runs in the sixth to pull away for the lop-sided victory in Game 1. Stillwater used two walks and eight hits, including three doubles and a three-run home run by Rachel Hartwig, as part of a 20-hit attack.
“We had a big inning in the sixth,” Beedle said. “We got comfortable at the plate and the kids did a real good job of being patient in that game.”
Alexis Wahlstrom and Natalie Ingram knocked their first varsity hits for the Ponies and each pushed across a run.
Hartwig and Carlie Hart each finished with four hits while Balzart added two singles and a double. Ten different Ponies hit safely in the game.
“I don’t remember ever getting 20 hits in a game,” Beedle said.
Hannah Heacox (2-1) was also sharp for the Ponies while allowing three hits and four walks with eight strikeouts. The senior did allow her first earned run in three starts this season.
Still 1 0 1 2 1 10 — 15 20 4
WBL 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 3 3
WP: Hannah Heacox 6-ip, 3-h, 1-r, 1-er, 4-bb, 8-so
LP: Nicole Weigmann 5-ip, 16-h, 11-r, 2-bb, 2-so
Leading hitters: St, Carlie Hart 4×4 (2 2B, RBI), Haley Balzart 3×4 (2B, 2 RBI), Rachel Hartwig 4×5 (2B, HR, 3 RBI), Sidnee Ronsberg 2×4 (2B, RBI), Lauren Jordan 2×4, Alexis Wahlstrom 1×1 (RBI), Natalie Ingram 1×2 (RBI), Emily Ramberg 1×3, Allison Pasiuk 1×3 and Natalie Gerber 1×5 (3 RBI).
Stillwater 7, WBL 6
The Ponies bounced back after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning and withstood a White Bear Lake rally in the top of the seventh to finish off the sweep in Game 2.
After scoring a run in the second to pull within 2-1, Stillwater scored three times in the third to grab a 4-2 lead. Lauren Jordan and Carlie Hart singled to start the inning and advanced on passed balls to set the stage for a two-run single by Haley Balzart, who then scored on a base hit by Natalie Ingram.
The Ponies extended their lead with three runs in the sixth. Rachel Hartwig, who pitched the final three innings to notch the save in relief of Rachel Rhode, reached on an error before a double by Hannah Heacox. Rhode drove a base hit to plate the first run while Sidnee Ronsberg and Emily Ramberg each lifted sacrifice fly to push two more runs across.
WBL 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 — 6 7 1
Still 0 1 3 0 0 3 x — 7 8 4
WP: Rachel Rhode 4-ip, 3-h, 3-r, 3-er, 2-bb, 4-so
LP: Nicole Weigmann 2-ip, 5-h, 4-r, 4-er, 0-bb, 0-so
Leading hitters: WBL, Dani Renner 1×3 (HR), Gina Downie 2×4 and Shannon Herzog 2×4; St, Carlie Hart 2×3, Natalie Ingram 1×1, Sidnee Ronsberg 1×2 (HR), Haley Balzart 1×2 (RBI), Hannah Heacox 1×3 (2B), Rachel Rhode 1×3 and Lauren Jordan 1×3.