Ivanna Tucker / Sports editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The softball team was forced to rush to the airport during its final game of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic and was booed at as it loaded into the vans.
During the final game against Illinois Wesleyan University on March 10, the coaches and umpires made an agreement to end the game at 4:10 p.m. The game began an hour late and the Wildcats did not finish. All statistics from this game will not be counted, leaving the game labeled as unofficial.
Prior to the static halt, Catball was in the lead 4-1. Two seniors Megan Wallo and Karleigh Prestianni drove in two runs each during the fourth inning. When the clock hit 4:10 p.m., Wesleyan had tied the game and were threatening with the bases loaded.
In the championship semifinals against Claremont College, the Wildcats were shutout and forced to compete for third place.
Junior Karina Paavola was outpitched by the Claremont pitcher, who was one hit shy from a perfect game. The Athenas scored the winning run in the second inning. This was Paavola’s first loss of the season.
On March 9, Paavola and junior Shelby VandeBergh threw shutout games. Sophomore Erin Carson went five for seven during the games.
During the game against Fontbonne, the Wildcats ended the second inning with a 7-0 advantage. They scored their final run in the third and coasted along to win the game.
Carson hit a triple that drove in two of the Wildcats’ runs. Wallo also added two hits that totaled the Wildcats nine hits in comparison to the Griffins’ three.
Paavola struck out four Griffin hitters. Paavola threw first pitch strikes to 12 of the 18 batters. During the University of St. Thomas game, Carson was again a key component of the Wildcats’ offense going three for four with three RBI. Junior Ashley Garcia also helped driving in three runs.
VandeBergh threw a shutout, allowing only two hits, two walks while striking out two Tommie batters. No baserunners advanced farther than first base.
On March 8, the Wildcats split the first two games of the tournament.
Catball pulled a 9-1 victory against Ithaca College, causing the game to end after six innings. Paavola had nine strikeouts, allowing only two singles. Freshman Maddie Dunn came in the sixth to close the game out, only allowing one walk.
Prestianni and Garcia both hit triples, driving in five Wildcat runs. In the sixth, the Wildcats quickly earned three more runs, sealing the victory.
The Wildcats took a tough loss against Gustavas Adolphus College, losing 2-1.
Adolphus scored the winning run in the fifth off a bases loaded fielder’s choice. Prestianni had a single and double, while sophomores Grace Middelstadt and Chelan Guischer provided the other two hits for the ’Cats.
Sophomore reliever Montana McNealy replaced VandeBergh in four and two thirds innings. McNealy allowed one hit and a walk.
Catball is next scheduled to play a double header against Lewis and Clark College at noon March 16 at Del Smith Stadium.