Errors, Key Injury Cost Scottie Softball
TRIBUNE PHOTO / LARRY BECKNER
Glasgow right fielder Megan Rasmusan makes a catch for an out in the third inning against St. Ignatius at the B/C State Softball Tournament at the Multi-Sports Complex Thursday.
Nothing went the way it was supposed to for the Scottie girls.
In their third-straight trip to state, everything was set up to achieve Glasgow’s ultimate goal, a state title. Instead, a rash of errors, mistakes and one big injury cost the Scottie girls two straight losses and an early exit on Friday.
“When you go to the state tournament, you have to bring your A-game every game. When you don’t, that’s what happens,” said Head Coach Mark Falcon.
The Scottie girls played well in their first game, beating St. Ignatius 4-3 on Thursday. Shyla Bergtoll pitched the complete game, striking out five and only allowed two earned. The Scottie girls’ bats weren’t quite as effective as they had been – only tallying six hits – but Alex Page’s two doubles and Sadie Sukut’s home run did enough to get the win.
But on Friday morning, the Scottie girls ran into defending state-champion Florence-Carlton. Glasgow was the runner-up to Florence last season. That defeat may have stuck with the Scottie girls.
“We had a whole year to think about losing to them last year,” said Falcon.
Florence scoring three quick runs in the first inning didn’t help, either.
“Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized on it,” said Falcon.
Glasgow fought back in the second with Page’s solo shot to center but Florence hit around in the third, scoring seven runs to break the game open. Adding injury to insult, Bergtoll, the Scottie girls’ starting pitcher, hurt her throwing shoulder in the fourth inning, forcing her to sit out the rest of the tournament.
“We knew right away [that she wasn’t going to return],” said Falcon. “Even though she came back and wanted to play, we couldn’t do it. It was quite a letdown.”
Abbi Kolstad hit another solo homer in the fourth to bring the score to 10-2 before Florence scored two more in the bottom of the inning. Glasgow couldn’t answer in the top of the fifth, giving Florence the mercy-shortened 12-2 victory.
Despite Bergtoll’s tournament-ending injury, the Scottie girls tried to regain momentum behind Abby Mehling in the circle in a back-and-forth game with Stillwater just a couple of hours later on Friday. Glasgow and Stillwater exchanged single tallies in the first and Stillwater scored another in the second before Glasgow tied it at two with a run in the top half of the third. However, Stillwater added two more in the bottom half for the 4-2 lead. After that, Stillwater had an answer for every Glasgow run as things just kept going against the Scottie girls.
Seven illegal pitches were called on Mehling for picking up and dropping her pivot foot, according to Falcon, who also said the calls were borderline. Those close calls, combined with three Glasgow errors, gave the Lady Cougars all the help they needed.
The Scottie girls scored once in the top of the fourth and Stillwater responded in kind in the bottom of the inning. Glasgow scored one more in the fifth but the Lady Cougars scored three times in the latter half. Stillwater added two in the sixth to make it a 10-4 lead.
Still fighting, Glasgow pushed across a pair in the seventh but couldn’t come all the way back, falling 10-6 to end their season.
“I’m sure [the girls] didn’t want to see the season end like that,” said Falcon. “They thought they’d go a lot further than we did, so I’m sure they were disappointed. We just couldn’t get the right hits at the right time.”
Florence-Carlton went on, undefeated, to win their second-straight title, beating Ronan twice in a row. Ronan finished second, Stillwater was third and St. Ignatius was fourth.
Even though the Scottie girls did not place where expected at state, they were still highly represented on the Class B/C All-State team. Mariah Stein, Page, Sage Sukut and Sadie Sukut were all named to the team, leaving one glaring omission, according to Falcon.
“I can’t believe Shyla didn’t make it,” he said.
Bergtoll was 18-3 with 135 strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA in 124.1 innings. She struck out more batters than she allowed hits, 109. Bergtoll did make the All-Conference First Team alongside Stein, Page and the Sukuts.
The Scotties also announced their team awards on Tuesday night at the postseason banquet. Bergtoll was named Team MVP with those pitching numbers combined with her offensive numbers: a .333 average, .485 On-Base Percentage, 22 RBIs and team-leading three home runs.
Page was named Defensive MVP, playing all four years of her high-school career at first base for the Scottie girls and only committing six errors total.
Stein earned Offensive MVP honors, leading the team (of hitters with at least 10 at bats) in average (.427), OBP (.517) and RBIs (30). She also had two round-trippers, two triples and three doubles. Finally, surprisingly for a catcher, she also led the team with 19 stolen bases.
Sage Sukut hit .350 with a .429 OBP and eight doubles and two triples. Sadie hit .390, got on base at a .510 clip and clubbed two home runs, three triples and 13 doubles to lead the team in extra-base hits.
The Most Improved Award went to MacKenzie Wesen.