Tricounty News

Softball season ends

The 2008 softball season ended this past week with a flurry of five games. This season's weather has been the story with numerous weather-related postponements and rescheduling. The final week of the season was no different as the Cubs had to complete the regular season and all CMC games before the Section 5A playoffs began on Thursday. The Cubs hosted St. John's Prep on Monday in only the second non-conference game of the season. The other four non-conference games were postponed due to weather issues. The Cubs came out on top by a 13-2 margin. Kimball started fast with four of the first five hitters reaching base and scoring. Kendra Albers, Tesslynn Callander, Holly Garding, and Amy Massmann came around to score in the first. Callander, Brittnay Simmons, and Cassie Loch scored in the second inning and the Cubs were up 7-1 after two innings. The Cubs would score six more times with Simmons, Massmann, Heather Ryan, Mindy Hurrle, Brianna Rosenow, and Kayla Kastanek adding to the Kimball margin. The Cubs allowed only one more score from the Johnnies in posting a 13-2 win. Callander and Hurrle each had two hits and seven other Cubs had base hits. Kendra Albers got the win on the mound allowing two runs, six hits, four strikeouts and one walk. Tuesday saw the Cubs facing two CMC teams in a conference double-header. Holdingford came to town for a resumption of a rain delayed game and then Rockford showed up for the regularly scheduled game while Holdingford went over to EVW to play a second game. The first game resumed in the bottom of the first inning from the May 10 rainout. Holdingford started with a 3-0 lead which they had gotten in their first at bat on Saturday. The Cubs first inning at bat came on Tuesday and they erased the deficit with four runs. Callander, Albers, Simmons, and Garding scored and RBI went to Hurrle and Ryan. Holdingford then came back with four in the second to take a 7-4 lead. Both teams then settled down and no more runs scored until the sixth. Holdingford went up by an 8-4 margin. In the bottom of the inning the Cubs struck for six runs using four hits and two Husker errors. Albers, Callander, Ryan, Rosenow, Amanda Kuseske, and Loch gave the Cubs a 10-8 lead into the seventh. The Huskers tied the game in the seventh with two runs, the tying run scoring on a controversial play at home. The Cubs half of the seventh began with Kastanek singling. Then Rosenow and Kuseske got aboard via errors to load the bases. Cassie Loch then singled home Kastanek with the winning run in an exciting 11-10 victory over Holdingford. Kendra Albers had three hits and Cassie Loch two hits and every position in the batting order scored at least once for Kimball. Ashley Schiefelbein got the win in relief, pitching the final four innings. Rockford was the second game of the day and after the emotions of the first game the Cubs were a little off. The game started like the first game ended. Rockford scored three in the top of the inning on a three-run home run. The Cubs came back in the bottom of the  inning to tie with Callander, Simmons, and Kastanek scoring. Rockford went up by 6-3 in the third inning and the game stayed that way until the seventh. Rockford scored twice in the top of the inning and Cubs got one back in the bottom of the inning as the game ended with Rockford ahead 8-4. Callander had two hits but only three other Cubs had hits in the game. Schiefelbein pitched the whole game giving up eight runs and 14 hits in seven innings. This game was the final CMC game and Rockford finished second in the conference behind Maple Lake. Kimball finished in a tie for third. place in the CMC for their best conference finish in the last few seasons. The Section 5A playoffs began on Thursday with the Cubs seeded seventh. Their first opponent was EVW which would mark the third time the two teams played this season. The Cubs won the first two meetings but the third time would be classic playoff matchup. Kimball struck first scoring twice in the bottom of the first with  Albers and Callander scoring with a Garding RBI. EVW came back with one in the second. For the Cubs, Simmons in the third, Loch in the fourth, Simmons and Kastanek in the fifth, and Albers in the sixth would add to the Kimball total. EVW added a single run in the sixth and the score stood at 7-2 entering the seventh inning. Some good defense by both teams during the game kept either team from having the big inning especially with the Cubs getting two double plays keeping the Eagles from adding to their total. The seventh would be as exciting as the previous six innings. The Eagles started off with three base hits to load the bases. A force out at third. and a force out at home were sandwiched around two more Eagle hits that brought in three runs to make the score 7-5. With the bases loaded the Cubs got the final out on a nice running catch from Simmons in centerfield to end the game with the Cubs prevailing 7-5 over EVW. Callander, Garding, and Loch each had two hits for Kimball. Ashley Schiefelbein pitched all seven innings for the win. The Cubs next opponent was second seeded Osakis on Friday. Osakis showed why they were the number two seed as they ended the Cubs season with a 4-1 victory. Osakis shortstop Kelly Proell did the damage going 3-3 and  accounting for three of the four runs. She also played some great defense robbing more than one Kimball hitter of base hits. The Cubs were stifled by the good Osakis defense but did break through in the sixth. Kendra Albers singled and was able to advance and score making the game 3-1. The Cubs got runners to second and third but no further in the inning. Osakis added another run in the bottom of the sixth and shut down the Cubs in the seventh for a 4-1 victory to advance in the Section 5A playoffs. The Cubs end the season with a 9-9 record and a third place CMC conference standing. Kimball will graduate 10 seniors from this years team. Brittnay Simmons, Kayla Kastanek, Holly Garding, Heather Ryan, Amanda Kuseske, Mindy Hurrle, Brianna Rosenow, Sammi Stewart-James, Ashley Schiefelbein, and Daniela Weever. Juniors on the team were Kendra Albers, Amy Massmann, and Cassandra Loch. Our one sophomore was Tesslynn Callander. Another award for the team comes on the Academic front. The cumulative team GPA was 3.67 which earns the squad a Silver certificate from the State Coaches Association for Academic Excellence. Individual awards will be determined later after the playoffs have concluded. The 2008 season is over, preparations for the 2009 season, which begins on March 9 have begun. Gary Ries, coach