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Mt. Pleasant softball team rocks South Park

| Thursday, April 10, 2014, 11:03 p.m.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant's Nikki Klejka is safe at home after colliding with South Park catcher Justine Dean in the first inning of a nonsection game Thursday, April 10, 2014, at Mt. Pleasant.
Lori Padilla | For the Daily Courier
Mt. Pleasant's Paige Hertzog (left) chases down South Park's Marissa Jones during a nonsection softball game on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Mt. Pleasant High School.

In Thursday's nonsection softball game between Mt. Pleasant and South Park, the Vikings and the Eagles had plenty of opportunities to score runs.

The difference was that Mt. Pleasant took full advantage of those chances, while South Park came up short in key situations as the Vikings earned a 7-1 victory on a windy afternoon at Mt. Pleasant.

“I think our goal was to come out in the first inning and stick it, whether it was hitting or in the field, and that's exactly what we did,” Mt. Pleasant first-year coach Lauren Shaheen said.

South Park took its only lead when Breanna Nugent homered in the first inning.

The Eagles (2-5) had several chances at big innings but left the bases loaded in the first and second innings.

South Park stranded 11 total base runners as Mt. Pleasant pitcher Ashley Pospisil gave up nine hits but worked out of some big-time jams.

“She been throwing very well,” Shaheen said. “She did a good job of working out of some holes. She did a great job.”

Pospisil went the distance and recorded four strikeouts for the win.

The Vikings (5-2) gave Pospisil all the support she needed with three runs in the first inning.

Paige Hertzog tripled in Alicia Polcha before scoring on an error. Then Maddie Kromer singled in Nikki Klejka to make it 3-1.

Mt. Pleasant gained some breathing room with two runs in the second. Courtney Zelmore and Polcha each singled and scored on a two-run double by Hertzog.

“Offensively, everything kind of fell into place,” Shaheen said. “They did a good job of attacking the ball, and they looked confident at the plate.”

Mt. Pleasant added two more runs in the fifth.

Felicia Premich singled in Kayla Queer, and Kromer came through with a sacrifice fly that drove home Hertzog.

The offense was more than enough for Mt. Pleasant as South Park simply couldn't bring runners around. Of the 11 stranded South Park runners, eight were left in scoring position.

“That's the theme for our season so far,” South Park coach Scott Shipley said.

“There's not enough clutch hitting in clutch situations.”

Shipley pointed out several positives, including his shortstop, Marissa Jones, who, along with Meghan Pavlick and Justine Dean, each finished with two hits.

He also noted he was pleased with backup pitcher Lexie Ruzzie's performance. Ruzzie pitched a complete game and gave up three earned runs on seven hits to go with three strikeouts.

For the Vikings, timely hitting, solid pitching and strong defense were on display.

“We wanted to see the fight in them, and the fight was there,” Shaheen said.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

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