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GILMAN SOFTBALL - Pirates ease to first conference softball wins, get tested by Thorp

Pirates ease to first conference softball wins, get tested by Thorp
Gilman’s Danielle Mann beats the tag from Spencer pitcher Berklie Ireland and scores on a passed ball during the Pirates’ 12-2 win on the Rockets’ home field Monday afternoon. PHOTO BY KATHY PHELPS
Pirates ease to first conference softball wins, get tested by Thorp
Gilman’s Danielle Mann beats the tag from Spencer pitcher Berklie Ireland and scores on a passed ball during the Pirates’ 12-2 win on the Rockets’ home field Monday afternoon. PHOTO BY KATHY PHELPS


A nine-run third inning Monday sparked Gilman’s second straight Eastern Cloverbelt Conference softball win, which was a 12-2, five-inning win at Spencer.

The game was moved up a day and moved to Spencer to allow it to be played on a sun-splashed warm afternoon rather than Tuesday’s wind and rain. The Pirates’ hitters were certainly pleased as they staked Gilman to a 10-0 lead and made some improvements in the process.

“I thought our pitch selection was much better,” Gilman head coach Brian Phelps said. “We had been doing a lot of chasing, but in this game we were much better with our discipline, which led to our 10 walks that we were able to pick up.”

Along with the good hitting, Gilman got a second straight strong pitching outing from senior Danielle Mann, who allowed three hits, two earned runs and three walks while striking out four.

Gilman scored a run in the second, then got the big third which included two singles from Abby Chaplinski, one that drove in two runs and another that brought home one. Mann and Mylie Stephens also had RBI singles in the frame.

Kayleigh James was one for two with a triple, two walks, three runs scored and an RBI. Kenlyn Kroeplin was one for two, drew two walks and scored a run. Chaplinski was two for three. Mann was one for three with a double, a walk and two runs scored. Stephens was one for two with a walk, two runs driven in and two scored.

Spencer fell to 0-2 in league play and 2-7 overall with the loss. Gilman bumped up to 2-0 in the conference and 2-3 overall. The Pirates host Loyal-Greenwood Friday at 5 p.m. in what could be a key game for early-season positioning in the standings.

Gilman is at Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran Monday in a rematch from WIAA Division 5 regional play from last year, a game won by the Lancers 5-3. Conference play resumes next week with a short trip to Owen-Withee Tuesday, a home game with Colby-Abbotsford April 25 and a home rematch with Spencer on April 26.

Mann allowed just five hits and one earned run while seven batters got a hit apiece and the offense took advantage of what the defense gave it Friday in a 13-3, six-inning win at Colby-Abbotsford.

Gilman put away its first win of the spring by scoring five runs in the top of the sixth after slowly but steadily pushing runs across in the first five frames. The Pirates never trailed, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning and tacking on from there.

Allison Olynick’s RBI single was the key hit after three Pirates drew walks in the two-run first. Kylie Orth cut the lead in half with a two-out RBI single for the Hornets in the bottom half.

Gilman went up 5-1 in the second on just one hit, a run-scoring single by James, a hit batter and a walk. Chaplinski drove in a run on a ground ball and the third run scored on a wild pitch.

Kroeplin hit a sacrifice fly in a tworun fourth that made it 7-1. It was 8-3 going into the sixth when the Pirates ended things.

Kroeplin singled and stole second, as did Chaplinski. Mann drew a walk from Colby-Abbotsford pitcher Tatum Bargender to load the bases. They didn’t stay loaded long as a wild pitch and then a throwing error by the catcher on the play scored two runs. Stephens hit an RBI single. Olynick was hit by a pitch. The last two runs scored on the throw from a dropped third strike and another wild pitch.

The 10-run margin stayed intact in the bottom half of the inning with help from a diving stop by James at second base on a ground ball hit by Audrey Fleischmann that seemed headed toward rightfield with the chance to drive in a run. James also made an alert play earlier in the game, tagging out a Hornet runner, who had briefly come off second base.

Mann struck out three and walked four while pitching all six innings. She allowed five hits.

Thorp 12, Gilman 5

In their home opener Thursday, the Pirates hung with Thorp through four innings, but the Cardinals kept pressuring and broke through in the late innings, pulling away for a 12-5 win.

Thorp scored three times in the third, tacked on two in the fifth and then broke it open with a five-run sixth that made it 10-0. Gilman got a run in the sixth and then scored four more in the seventh after Thorp had made it 12-1.

Gilman had three hits. Kroeplin had one of them and two runs driven in.

“Through five innings, we were doing well,” Phelps said. “In the sixth inning the floodgates kind of opened. They started blooping some stuff in and we booted a couple. We have to learn to stop the bleeding and can’t make errors at the wrong time.”

Chaplinski and Scarlett Stuner also had hits. James and Chloe Irwin had RBIs.

Stuner threw all seven innings and finished with two strikeouts and five walks while allowing 11 hits and 10 earned runs.

“Scarlett threw a solid game,” Phelps said. “She moved the ball around well. I was really happy with how she pitched that night.”

Thorp’s Jasmine Stratton struck out 15 batters, walked three and allowed two hits in six innings. Kallie Penk pitched the seventh and allowed four runs and four walks along with one hit.

“Their pitcher probably throws about 52-53 mph, mixes it up and she can rise it a little,” Phelps said. “That’s something we hadn’t seen yet, so it was good for us to see it. That’s the game where we really started to talk about pitch selection, not going after the high stuff, when you get to two strikes, expand the zone, foul pitches off. It was a good learning game for us.”

Gilman’s Allison Olynick scoots from second base to third during the Pirates’ win at Colby Friday. NATHANIEL UNDERWOOD/TRIBUNE-PHONOGRAPH