Jessica Moberg struck out 11 batters as Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley squeaked out an extra inning victory over the West Central Area Knight softball team, 12-11, in the season opener on Friday, April 1, at Braemar Field in Edina.
WCA got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first after CGB went down in order. Alaina Sykora walked to lead off the inning. After a ground out advanced her to second, Sykora stole third and then stole home to give the Knights a quick 1-0 lead.
CGB tied the game on a ground out in the second. The game remained tied until the fourth when the Wolverines added the go ahead run and an insurance run on a bases loaded walk and a single.
The CGB lead grew to as large as 5-1 before WCA, who was down three starters in the game, started to climb back into the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Sophie Sanstead and Sykora both walked and stole three bases to record runs for WCA. KJ Nibbe recorded an RBI single to trim the deficit to 5-4 before the final out.
CGB continued its offensive trend by adding four runs in the sixth to go ahead 9-4.
In the bottom half, WCA again trimmed the lead to just one run. With one out, Kennedy Porter and Lily Mahoney walked to put runners on for Sophie Sanstead, who ripped a hard grounder to right field to score a run and put Mahoney in position at third. Sykora grounded into a fielder’s choice, which scored Mahoney. Mya Foslien recorded an RBI single to score Whitney Westrom to make it 9-7 and a bases loaded walk made the score 9-8.
CGB’s Moberg tagged up on a fly out to score the Wolverines’ 10th run of the game in the seventh.
The Knights rallied in the final inning to tie the game. After singling, Kennedy Porter stole second, third and home to close the gap to 10-9. Lily Mahoney walked on four straight balls after Porter scored and stole second. On a sacrifice bunt, Mahoney scored from second to tie the game at 10-10.
With two outs, Sykora singled but got caught stealing second to end regulation and force an eighth inning where each team started with a runner on second.
With two outs, WCA allowed two runs to score on a single error to go down 12-10 in the top half.
WCA had Sykora on second to start the home half of the inning, which was good because Sykora stole second, third and home to get one run back for the Knights, who were unable to come up with anything else offensively.
Moberg went the distance for the Wolverines, giving up seven hits and 10 earned runs over eight innings. She also walked 11 batters.
KJ Nibbe took the loss for the Knights in the circle. She went five innings, gave up three runs (one earned) on one hit, walked one, and struck out four. Claire Stark went two innings and had four strikeouts as well.
Nibbe led at the plate with two hits. Sophie Sanstead had two RBIs and Alaina Sykora had eight steals in the game.
CGB – 12
WCA – 11
HITTING – WCA: Alaina Sykora 1-3 rbi r-4, Mya Foslien 1-3 rbi r, KJ Nibbe 2-4 2b rbi, Kennedy Porter 1-4 r-2, Lily Mahoney 1-2 r-2, Sophie Sanstead 1-2 rbi-2 r… CGB: Gracie Groebner 2-4 rbi r-3, Grace Cardwell 1-3 rbi-3, Chloe Cardwell 1-4 rbi, Mikaelyn Johnson 1-4 rbi-3 r
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) – WCA: Nibbe (L) 5-1-3-1-1-4, Claire Stark 2-3-4-4-5-4, Alayna Boyd 1-1-4-3-5-1… CGB: Jessica Moberg (W) 8-7-10-10-11-11