GRANTSBURG—The Grantsburg Pirates softball team has a strong tradition of winning, and they added to that history Thursday night when they won their 17th regional championship—the 14th consecutive.
In a game filled with booming hits and big plays, they eliminated the Chequamegon Screaming Eagles 14-7 to advance to sectional play.
The Eagles started hot when their lead-off batter sent the first pitch sailing for a stand-up double to start the game. Two batters later, they cracked a homerun to take an early 2-0 lead.
The Pirates answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Brooke Quimby got on with a single. Rachel Tooze ripped a line drive to right field for a double, and Quimby’s speed allowed her to score from first for the first run of the night for the Pirates. Lainie Thoreen came in to run for Tooze at second and scored when Rylee Hoffman blasted a shot to centerfield for a double. That ended the scoring for the inning, with the score knotted up at 2-2.
Both squads added to their score in the third inning with the Eagles bringing in two runs and the Pirates scoring six runs to take an 8-4 lead.
The Pirates’ bats really came alive this inning as they batted through the line-up on their way to scoring six runs, with all six of those coming with two outs. Tooze got the first hit with a single to right field, followed by Hoffman who singled to left. Belle Quimby was next, and she too singled to shallow left to load the bases.
Jada Hecht hit a blooper over the pitcher’s head for a single that scored Tooze. The Pirates number nine batter, Jenna McNally, stepped to the plate and crushed a double to centerfield to clear the bases and earn herself three RBI’s. Emma Quimby cracked a shot to left which went under the fence for a ground rule double, scoring McNally. Brooke Quimby stepped in and blasted a shot to left field for a stand-up double, which scored her cousin Emma to make it an 8-4 game.
In case anyone needed a reminder, you can never get comfortable with a lead when it comes to playoff time. The Eagles answered with three runs in the top of the fourth to bring the score within one at 8-7.
The Pirates added three more runs in the fifth inning, giving them an 11-7 lead.
This time it was Emma Quimby who got things going with
a double to right field. Brooke Quimby followed with a single to centerfield. Emma Quimby used her speed to beat the throw to home for the score, allowing Brooke Quimby to advance to second.
Susan Roberts got her first hit of the night with a swinging bunt for a single. Tooze was next with a single to right which scored Brooke Quimby. Hoffman tallied another hit with a shot to right, scoring Roberts to go up 11-7.
The Pirates added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win. This time it was Hecht to started things off with a walk to get on base. McNally followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. Emma Quimby pounded out a double to score Hecht’s courtesy runner, Sadye Bunting. Brooke Quimby hit a dribbler back to the pitcher who made the throw to first for the out, but McNally scored from third for her Pirate squad.
Roberts hit a shot to left field for a double which scored Emma Quimby from third base for the final score of the game.
The Pirates’ defense was solid and shut down the Eagles to seal the win, and extend their season into sectional play.
They will host Turtle Lake/Clayton for the right to head to the sectional final game in Shell Lake Thursday night.