Softball: Ponies prevail in regular season finale

 

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Allison Pasiuk delivered a three-run double in the sixth inning to help Stillwater pull away for an 8-4 nonconference softball victory on Friday at Stillwater Area High School.

The four-run sixth inning — Carlie Hart singled home Pasiuk for Stillwater’s final run — provided some breathing room after Totino-Grace scratched for three runs in the third and another in the seventh. It was an impressive feat when you consider Ponies hurler Hannah Heacox had only allowed three earned runs all season prior to yielding four to the Eagles.

Stillwater opened the scoring with a run in the first as Hart laced a lead-off triple and trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Haley Balzart for a 1-0 lead.

The Eagles jumped in front with three runs in the top of the thrid, but the Ponies answered with a run in the bottom half and scored two more in the fourth to provide a 4-3 advantage. Hart drew a walk and scored on a two-out triple by Balzart in the third. Sidnee Ronsberg doubled in the fourth and Stillwater struck again with two outs as Jordan Rastall delivered an RBI single and Natalie Ingram reached on an error that allowed courtesy runner Brinna Dochniak to score the go-ahead run.

Stillwater pulled away for good with four runs in the sixth.

Heacox allowed just six hits and two walks while striking out 14 in the complete game.

“A few of their hits in the third inning were bloop hits that we felt our defense probably should have handled,” Ponies coach Bob Beedle said, adding many teams are having a harder time defensively because of a lack of practices with the condense season. “We just misplayed some balls and some of the hits that feel in are really a lack of getting outside and work with flyballs and groundballs and defensive plays. If you look across the conference there were more errors than normal and the coaches were talking about that at our meeting.”

The time to work on those things is growing shorter with the start of the Section 4AAA tournament this week and the top-seeded Ponies (16-3) are playing as well as any while winning 10 of their last 11 games.

Stillwater has received the No. 1 seed and will host eighth-seeded Roseville in a quarterfinal game on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

“We’re happy to be placed in the one seed, but the one seed doesn’t win you anything. You have to win the games on the field,” Beedle said. “I have a lot of respect for the teams in this section and you have to be at your best to come out of it.”

l Following her stellar season for the defending state champion Ponies, Heacox has been selected one of eight finalists for the 2013 Ms. Softball Award, which will be presented on June 19. Along with Mr. Baseball Award, this prestigious award is presented by the Minute Men of Minnesota in parnership with the Minnesota Twins. This is the fifth year the Ms. Softball Award has been presented.

 

Totino-Grace 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 — 4 6 1

Stillwater 1 0 1 2 0 4 0 — 8 8 1

 

WP: Hannah Heacox 7-ip, 6-h, 4-r, 4-er, 2-bb, 14-so

LP: Katessa Archer 6-ip, 8-h, 8-r, 7-er, 3-bb, 2-so

 

Leading hitters: St, Carlie Hart 2×3 (RBI), Haley Balzart 1×3 (2 RBI), Sidnee Ronsberg 2×3, Natalie Gerber 1×3, Jordan Rastall 1×2 and Allison Pasiuk 1×2 (2B, 3 RBI).

Section 4AAA

First round

Stillwater, bye

Roseville 8, St. Paul Como Park 1

Hill-Murray 13, St. Paul Johnson 2

Woodbury vs. Cretin-Derham Hall

East Ridge, bye

Tartan 7, Mahtomedi 5

White Bear Lake 7, South St. Paul 0

North St. Paul, bye

Quarterfinals

Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

#8 Roseville at #1 Stillwater

#5 Woodbury/#12 C-D Hall at #4 Hill-Murray

#6 Tartan at #3 East Ridge

#7 White Bear Lake at #2 North St. Paul

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