South Ridge survives Barnum in closely-contested softball affairUsually most comfortable in the circle, South Ridge softball pitcher Kendra Dallmann was just happy to get on the team bus headed out of Barnum Tuesday evening.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Usually most comfortable in the circle, South Ridge softball pitcher Kendra Dallmann was just happy to get on the team bus headed out of Barnum Tuesday evening.
“I was sick all day and wasn’t feeling the greatest,” said the senior right-handed hurler, who helped the Panthers survive for a slim 6-5 road victory over the Bombers. “It was a tough game, but we pulled through it.”
Despite battling a cold, the 5-foot-11-inch Dallmann tossed another complete game, as she got Barnum sophomore Olivia Angell to ground out to third for the final out with the bases loaded. Dallmann praised the Bombers’ effort, as did her coach, Tim Anvid, afterward.
“I think we played our game for the first couple of innings, but then got relaxed and Barnum jumped on us,” said Anvid, now in his sixth year coaching the small program. “We definitely survived a square down there.”
According to Barnum Coach Sarah Yrjanson, the Bombers started sluggishly before rallying to tighten things in the final frame. Yrjanson said senior Karianna Duesler and junior Paige Rilea scored runs in the seventh, while senior Allainie Hanek-Siltanen was plated for the second time on the day as Barnum brought the winning run into play before falling just short.
“To lose with the bases loaded in the end is definitely a heartbreaker,” said Yrjanson, who said the same thing happened in a 2-1 extra-inning defeat at Two Harbors last week. “We started a little slow, but I was very happy with our efforts. We just have to learn and move on.”
Duesler, Hanek-Siltanen and losing pitcher Lauren Hultgren all recorded a pair of hits for the young Bombers (6-7).
Yrjanson said her players will have no time to fret about their closely-contested defeat, however.
“We are jam-packed this week and next,” Yrjanson said, noting that Barnum would play six games in the following seven days. “We aren’t going to worry about this one. We came out a little sluggish, but you have to look at the whole game. Quite frankly, I think we played pretty well.”
Although not as busy as Barnum, first-year South Ridge (9-3) is busting with talent and has been competitive on most game days.
“I’ll tell you what, we got our behinds kicked up at Two Harbors,” Anvid said of their 24-2 mercy-rule loss on the North Shore on April 30. “But now, I think we’re playing well and peaking at the right time.”
The Panthers circle around Dallmann, who has started every game this season, while senior catcher Alyssa Johnson is strong behind the dish. Anvid said infielders Mikayla Olesiak, Laurel Morris and sisters Kourtney and Krystal Karppinen are also strong, while outfielders Danielle Jakubek, Marissa Thibault, Laura Poski and Kaitlyn Psick control outfield duties.
Kourtney Karppinen and Jakubek had multiple hits in the win against Barnum
“Top to bottom, we put the ball in play and can all play defense,” Anvid said of his experience-laden team and its nine seniors. “We’re pretty deep, too.”
Anvid insisted their success has revolved around his squad’s enjoyment with each other.
“From eighth-graders to seniors, everyone does their job to contribute,” he said. “They’re just having fun together and that’s had a lot to do with it.”
Anvid said his Panthers’ extra-inning home loss to unbeaten Cherry, ranked second in the state and last year’s Class A state runner-up, was their best game yet.
“That was a great game,” he said. “We gave them a great effort.”
Dallmann agreed. The heavy hitter, who bats cleanup and has five home runs – including the school’s first-ever – said she likes her team’s chances come postseason play in late May.
“We never look past anyone, but we’re never intimidated either,” she said. “We’re coming together as a team and taking things one game at a time.
“I think we can do well in the playoffs. We’re hoping for the best. Tonight, my teammates backed me up and we got things done.”
Then she happily boarded the team bus.