Game of the Week: Park, Woodbury softball teams renew rivalry SaturdayRival softball teams from Park and Woodbury renew their longstanding tradition Saturday at Park High School’s Charlie Whitbred Field.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
GAME OF THE WEEK
Who:Park vs. Woodbury
Where: Charlie Whitbred Field, Park High School
When: Saturday, April 14, 3 p.m.
Rival softball teams from Park and Woodbury renew their longstanding tradition Saturday at Park High School’s Charlie Whitbred Field.
The two District 833 squads shared the Suburban East Conference championship title in 2007. Park had only seven losses that year, but two were to the Royals – which went on to reach the Class AAA state tournament compiling a 20-6 record. The following year, 2008, Park won the SEC title outright with a 14-2 record – but again fell to Woodbury twice. Park holds a 4-1 advantage over the Royals since then however, including a pair of lopsided victories last season 10-0 and 11-1.
Both squads returned a number of key players from last year’s teams. However, each is also trying to replace their aces in the pitching circle this spring.
Park lost two-year starting pitcher Cassie MacArthur to graduation. MacArthur was an All-Conference and All-Section pitcher for the Wolfpack. Woodbury is replacing 2011 graduate Abbie Morris, who was a two-year starter for the Royals and also provided a big bat in the middle of the Royals lineup.
This year, Park has stumbled out of the gates a bit, going 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the Suburban East Conference. The Wolfpack opened the season by splitting a double-header against Le Sueur-Henderson then opened conference play falling 11-3 to Mounds View in its home opener. Park then beat up Roseville 12-4, but then was crushed by Stillwater 9-1 this past Wednesday.
Woodbury has only played two games so far this season – with very different results. The Royals opened the season with an 11-1 loss to Forest Lake in its home opener, but rebounded to beat defending Class AAA state champion Hastings 4-1 on Wednesday, behind a gem by junior pitcher Brooke Pantila.
Key players to watch include Park senior Kayla Hemmingson, junior infielder Mary Turitto and sophomore infielder Samantha Flack and Woodbury seniors Alex Benedict, Josie Ryan, Sam Kosel and Ali Jacobson in addition to Pantila.
The teams take the field at 3 p.m. in Cottage Grove.