Gaels cruise to softball victory

By JOSH MEYER

sports@messengernews.net

Runs came early and often for the St. Edmond softball team here Wednesday night.

Staying unbeaten in the North Central Conference, the No. 7 (Class 2A) Gaels (16-2 overall, 9-0 NCC) pounded Humboldt by an 11-1 count in five innings at Rogers Sports Complex.

“We came out really aggressive again and put pressure on the defense by putting the ball in play,” SEHS head coach Paul Hunt said. “We know we’re going to score some runs, but we live by the motto of avoiding the big inning.

“It’s sure a nice luxury as a coach to have a group that listens so well and executes 1 through 9.”

Senior Jessica Kuebler, a No. 7 batter, went a perfect 3-for-3 offensively with three runs and a RBI.

Freshman Megan Flattery added a single, a double, three RBI and a run, while senior Cassie Sells crossed the dish twice. Junior Jaci Stumpf also just missed her second longball of the season, belting a double off the left-center field fence to leadoff the bottom of the first.

“Our goal is obviously to win the conference, but we want to be playing our best softball in July during regionals,” said Hunt. “I’m really happy with the focus we’ve had this year.”

Eight Gaels scored at least once. As a team, St. Edmond plated at least one run in four different innings, including a five-spot in the fifth.

Flattery ended the contest with a walk-off single to left, bringing home Kuebler from third.

Ace Amanda Lansman (16-2) went the distance in the circle, scattering five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. She actually fanned the side in the second. In 105 innings this season, Lansman has allowed only 66 hits with 128 strikeouts.

Halie George and Beth Duffield each contributed a pair of hits for the Wildcats (11-4, 6-3), who saw their four-game winning streak halted. Duffield also stole two bases and scored the lone run for the visitors in the fourth on a throwing error by the Gael catcher.

With the victory, St. Edmond improved to 7-0 at home this year. Through 17 games, the green and white have now outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 127-37.

The Gaels visit Iowa Falls-Alden this evening, while Humboldt welcomes Forest City.