Sherrard was fifth-ranked in Class 2A and heavily favored to win Saturday’s Fulton Steamer Invite. Somebody forgot to tell Princeton and the host Steamers.
The Tigresses stunned the Tigers of Sherrard 7-5, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning and holding on for the upset behind freshman pitcher Madison Menzel in six innings.
PHS finished the day 2-1, defeating Savanna West Carroll 7-1 while falling 2-1 to Fulton in the opener.
The host Steamers also topped Sherrard, going 3-0 to claim the tournament hardware.
“We’ve been a roller-coaster, we’re up and we’re down,” PHS coach Bob James said. “I attribute it to many young kids. I don’t think they really realize when we lost to the first game, how much it meant to the seniors and I don’t think they understand what it meant to beat Sherrard, either.
“The upperclass took it to heart. There may have been a little doubt (after losing to Fulton); beating Sherrard may have instilled back in their minds we can play with anybody, we’ve just got to fight through the inconsistencies”.
PHS senior Makenzey Wilson said it was simply awesome beating Sherrard, making all the plays in the field when they needed to, twice when PHS got out of bases-loaded, no out jams.
“We kept calm and focused on our playing and got out of the inning,” Wilson said.
Sherrard outhit Princeton 11-9, but the Tigresses made theirs count most. Abby Jaques went 3-4 with a double and a RBI. James had two hits and a RBI and Wilson had two RBIs and one hit, Danielle Hughes (1-3), Stephenny Farrell (1-3) and Alisa Holmbeck (1-3) all hit safely with Mollie Bates driving in a run.
Menzel scattered 11 hits and two walks while surrendering five earned runs, three in the sixth and final inning with the help of a two-run blast by Riley Stanguard.
The Tigress offense broke out in a big way against West Carroll, scoring six runs on six hits in the third inning to take its 7-1 lead. That was all the runs Menzel (6 strikeouts, 3 hits) would need.
PHS pounded out nine hits in the game, including two each by Jaques and Bates with James adding two RBIs, Pranka a RBI double and Farrell (1-3), Holmbeck (1-3) and Wilson (0-2) collecting RBIs.
The only blemish on the day for the Tigresses was a 2-1 defeat to the host Steamers. Wilson drove in their lone with a fielder’s choice in the first inning. After that, it was a tale of missed opportunities for PHS, having the tying run thrown out in the sixth on a comebacker.
“We had five hits walked six times, we just didn’t get any timely hits,” James said. “We’ve got a couple kids getting hits all the time, but seems like when they’re batting there’s nobody on. That was a killer. I could feel it in about the fourth inning.”
Heidi James had two hits, Jaques an RBI double and Pranka and Sydney Hall singled.
Holmbeck took the loss, striking out five over six innings.
PHS (5-5) was scheduled to face Dixon on Monday.
St. Bede 7, Streator 1: Emmi Christensen broke the game open Friday with a three-run shot in the third inning. Barbi Prokup had three hits and winning pitcher Lainie Schweickert and Mo Dean added two hits apiece. Schweickert fanned 11 in the circle.