Gaels hold off Wildcats

No. 7 (Class 2A) St. Edmond passed another difficult North Central Conference test here Friday night.

Keeping their unbeaten season intact, the Gael softball team (4-0 overall, 2-0 in the league) recorded a hard-fought 5-4 triumph over rival Humboldt at Rogers Sports Complex.

Cassie Sells, a junior center fielder, scored the winning run for SEHS on a throwing error by the Wildcat catcher in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sells, a No. 7 batter, doubled with one out before stealing third and eventually coming home.

“Anytime you take (a game) from Humboldt, you have to be happy,” St. Edmond head coach Paul Hunt said. “(The Wildcats) are a team that never quits and always hustles on the bases.

“Winning a tight game like this helps prepare us for the postseason and gives our psychic the right kind of vibe.”

Sells delivered two hits, two runs and a RBI for the green and white, while sophomores Jaci Stumpf and Anna Yung and eighth-grader Maggie Harvey each collected a pair of hits. Stumpf also blasted a two-run longball to center field in the second – the second round-tripper of her career.

“Up and down the order, everyone of our girls has been hitting, but I still don’t think we’ve hit our stride yet,” said Hunt. “I think defensively is where we’ve really improved since last year. Our fielding has been very consistent so far.”

Senior hurler Katie Donnelly (3-0) went the distance in the circle for the Gaels, scattering seven hits and three earned runs. Donnelly walked two and fanned 10. She has now notched 26 strikeouts in 21 innings of work this season.

“Katie threw another good game and was hitting all her spots,” Hunt said. “She did a nice job of executing our gameplan (last night).”

Courtney Benjamin and Kenzie Shelgren both tallied two hits for Humboldt (3-2, 1-2), which rallied back from an early 4-0 deficit. Trailing by the slimmest of margins in the sixth, Erica Lane plated the tying run for the Wildcats with a clutch two-out RBI single to left.

“A four-run lead is never safe against any team in (the North Central Conference),” said Hunt. “We were very fortunate to pull through in the end.”

Benjamin also crossed the dish twice for Humboldt, which saw its mini two-game victory streak snapped. Anna Tecklenberg (1-2) took the loss despite allowing just two earned runs over six frames.

Through four games this year, SEHS has now outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 29-6.

St. Edmond returns to action today, facing Spalding Catholic at the CYO Tournament in Carroll. First pitch is set for 11:45 a.m. Humboldt will also host its own triangular this morning with Mason City and Cherokee. Start time is 10 a.m.