Tiger baseball team closes out the season undefeated in CCAA conference
The Pilot Grove Tigers softball and baseball teams pulled off a rare feat Tuesday night while hosting the Prairie Home Panthers in CCAA action at Pilot Grove.
While the Tigers’ baseball team entered Tuesday night’s game against Prairie Home unbeaten in the CCAA conference, the Lady Tigers have had their share of struggles this season. However, in the regular-season finale on Tuesday, Pilot Grove defeated Prairie Home 9-8 in softball while the Pilot Grove baseball team blanked the Panthers by a score of 10-0.
The Lady Tigers, improving to 8-12 overall and 2-3 in the conference, trailed Prairie Home 5-4 after two and 6-5 after three before rallying back with four runs in the fourth to make it 9-6. Meanwhile, in the final-two innings, the Lady Panthers rallied back with one run in each inning to cut the lead to one.
Pilot Grove coach Renee Roberts said Cynthia Brumback pitched a wonderful game on Senior Night. “This was a hard-fought battle against two solid teams,” Roberts said. “My girls did a really good job of putting the ball in play and making the outs when they needed to. This was a great way to end the season and head into districts.”
Cynthia Brumback picked up the win on the mound for Pilot Grove while Makayla Zey took the loss for Prairie Home, who closed out the season at 7-13 overall. In seven innings, Brumback struck out three batters and gave up eight runs on 14 hits and one walk. Zey, meanwhile, pitched all seven innings and issued nine runs on 11 hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Kori Marshall led the hitting attack in the game for Pilot Grove with two singles, one double and one RBI. McKalie Lorenz had two singles and two RBIs while Melissa Schlotzhauer and Kayla Poulsen finished the game with two singles each and Katelyn Renfro and McKenzi Schuster with one single each.
For Prairie Home, Jessica Kennedy went 3-for-4 with two singles and one double while Kendra Stinson and Katlynn Watson added two three singles each, Kristynn Watson with two singles and two RBIs, Josie Flood with two singles and one RBI, Brooke Emmerich with two singles, Makayla Zey with a RBI-single and Ally Small with one RBI.
Prairie Home coach Glenda Scott said the girls hit the ball every inning and bunted the ball well. “To win close games a team must keep errors under two and we had six in the game,” Scott said. “We have improved. We are playing much better and are going into districts playing better than at any point in the season.”
As for the Pilot Grove Tigers baseball team, they led Prairie Home from start to finish by pushing across one in the first, two again in the second, five in the fourth and two in the fifth to win by the mercy rule.
Pilot Grove coach Clint Poulsen said it was a good end to the fall season and a good seven months with spring, summer, and fall baseball. “Trenton was dominant tonight throwing a no hitter and our offense was solid with some good hits and clutch situational hitting,” Poulsen said. “We look to get some rest and then get to work this winter to get better for next spring.”
Trenton Young was the winning pitcher in the game for Pilot Grove while Nathan Small took the loss for Prairie Home. Young pitched all five innings and struck out eight batters while walking five batters. Small, meanwhile, pitched five innings and surrendered 10 runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out five.
Pilot Grove also out-hit Prairie Home 10-0, with Sean Lorenz going 2-for-4 with a single, triple and one RBI. Aaron Waibel was 2-for-3 with a single, double and two RBIs while Kendall Kraus added two singles and one RBI, Keaton Vollrath with one double, Trenton Young with a single and two RBIs, Trevor Day with a RBI-single and Regan Meisenheimer with one single.
Prairie Home coach Jesse Oswald said this was the last game of the fall and although it didn’t go out the way they were hoping to he is still very proud of the work these guys have put into this season. “I felt that Nathan did a very good job pitching tonight,” Oswald said. “They had their ace on the mound and he is one of the best we will see all year, and we did a good job after the first inning of at least putting the ball in play. They found ways to get us out but at least we went down battling at the plate. This fall season was one of great improvement. We set some goals at getting better defensively and not making so many mistakes, and I feel that is something that we accomplished. Although we still made some errors, our guys were always backing each other up and keeping one error from turning into three or four. Offensively our bats have come around to where we are putting the ball in play and forcing teams to get us out with their gloves. I feel like this team has come a long way and that we have made great improvements. The future looks bright for Prairie Home in the spring.”