Park softball: It's all over — season ends with back-to-back losses TuesdayThe Park softball team’s season came to an end on Tuesday, May 26 with back-to-back losses in the Section 3AAA tournament.
By: Patrick Johnson, staff writer, South Washington County Bulletin
After over 520 wins and 29 years, Park head coach Charlie Whitbred’s career is now officially over.
The Park softball team’s season came to an end on Tuesday, May 26 with back-to-back losses in the Section 3AAA tournament.
With a chance to head into the section championship game with no losses in the double-elimination tournament, the fourth-seeded Wolfpack fell 5-3 to No. 2 seed Rosemount in extra innings in the first game of the day. Park then lost 1-0 to third-seeded Eagan for a chance for a rematch against Rosemount in the finals. The loss to Eagan was the legendary Whitbred’s final game as head coach.
Against Rosemount, the Irish’s Maria Leidner broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning to put the Irish up for good, after Park failed to win the game in the bottom of the seventh although the Wolfpack’s Lauryn Morris was on second base with no outs.
In the bottom of the seventh, Morris — who led off the inning being hit by a pitch — stole second base for the third time in the game, but was stranded at second base as the team chose not to sacrifice bunt her over to third base.
In the loss to Eagan, the Wolfpack was shut down by the Wildcats’ starting pitcher Sara Moulton. Moulton, a junior, threw a complete-game two-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking none in the win. In the tournament, Eagan has only allowed one run in its six games — falling 1-0 to Lakeville North in the first round.
Park’s Ashley Kluever also pitched well in the loss, allowing only three hits and striking out four in her six innings.
In the game, the Wolfpack again left a big run on base — stranding the tying run at third base. Morris — who had the Wolfpack’s lone two hits, going 2-for-3 against Moulton — led off the top of the seventh inning with a double, then was advanced to third base on a ground ball by Park sophomore Jessica Kullman. However, the Wolfpack again couldn’t bring Morris home as Moulton struck out the next two batters to end the game.
In addition to losing Whitbred, Park now must say good-bye to its four seniors — Morris, Kluever, Kelsey Johnsen and Kelsey Waltz.
See the full story and additional photos in the June 3 issue of the Bulletin.
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