The St. Catherine’s High School softball team couldn’t have picked a better time to put it all together.
St. Catherine’s won its first game of the season Thursday, defeating Racine Lutheran 19-5 in a WIAA Division 3 regional quarterfinal game at Island Park.
The Angels had lost 19 games and had a tie in its previous 20 games.
“Oh, my gosh, it was something,” St. Catherine’s interim coach Corey Scheel said. “It was like we had won the state championship.
“I’m just so proud of the girls. We have been making strides every game and today things clicked for us. We did what we’re capable of doing.”
Angels’ junior Natalia Iruegas had a season-high eight strikeouts.
Iruegas also delivered a grand slam over the left-field fence, an estimated 230 feet, in the sixth inning.
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“She just crushed it,” Scheel said. “It was hit to South America.”
The Angels also got some timely hitting from freshman second baseman Emma Dresen, who had three RBIs and had what Scheel described as a “breakout day”, and sophomore center fielder Aubrey Poole, who had a pair of RBIs.
“All the bad breaks we had this season, we didn’t have today and they went to Racine Lutheran,” said Scheel, whose team will play Shoreland Lutheran in a regional semifinal game Tuesday at Somers. “I can feel for Racine Lutheran; we’ve felt that way almost all season.”
Racine Lutheran suffered a major blow in practice Wednesday when standout pitcher and hitter Claire Rosenberg suffered a knee injury and couldn’t play against St. Catherine’s.
Rosenberg, a sophomore, had an 11-8 record this season — including three victories against St. Catherine’s this season — throwing a one-hitter in her last outing against the Angels.
“We had only five minutes left in practice when she went down,” Racine Lutheran coach Becky Demuth said of Rosenberg, the Crusaders’ leadoff batter who was hitting over .400. “She batted the ball and went down screaming.”
The Crusaders (12-11) also lost freshman shortstop Korin Williams during the game. She was hit in the right hand by a shot hit by Iruegas.
“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” Demuth said. “It was a good season; we just bad timing.”
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WIAA DIVISION 3 REGIONAL QUARTERFINAL
St, Catherine’s 19, Racine Lutheran 5
St. Cath. 043 318 — 19 14 1
Lutheran 130 100 — 5 2 5
WP—Iruegas. LP—Balke (0-1). 2B—SC: Dresen; RL: C. Eiben. HR—SC: Iruegas. RBI—SC: Iruegas 4, Poole 2, Dresen 3, Landreman, Connaughton, Grycowski; RL: Legath, Richio.