The St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers more than likely wrapped up a No. 1 regional seed and gave seniors Nate Grimaldi, Grant Normand and V.J. Piccini a proper home sendoff Tuesday night by sweeping Girard, 8-1 and 12-2.
“In all aspects, I thought we played well,” Colgan head coach Mike Watt said. “Pitched well, hit well, ran the bases well, solid defense and I really think we’re starting to put it together at the right time of the year.”
Starting pitchers Christian Cedeno (Game 1) and Piccini (Game 2) both went the distance and combined to allow three runs on eight hits. Piccini tossed a three-hitter in his final home game as a Panther and ended the doubleheader with a walk-off single plating Drew Dawson.
Colgan baserunners stole 11 bases over the doubleheader, the defense committed a single error compared to 10 by Girard and the Panthers saw the return of junior shortstop Luke Marquardt to the lineup after he was out several games from injuring his shoulder against Baxter Springs.
Marquardt provided a little scare when he went down to the turf for a little bit after making a diving attempt on a hard-hit grounder.
“It was nice to get him back,” Watt said. “I even doublechecked with the trainer today, ‘Are you sure we can play him’ and everybody says yes. Luke was dying to get out there and it was good to see him out there. He scared me a little bit and I think it scared him more than it hurt him. He’s a competitor and he wants to get out there and play.”
Colgan improved to 14-5 on the season and closes out its regular season today against Carl Junction (Mo).
“These two wins should have secured us the No. 1 seed at our regional,” Watt said. “I don’t think that’s 100 percent yet but I’m about 98 percent sure it did. . . . We’ve pitched well all year long, played solid defense, ran bases well and now the hitting’s starting to come around. If we can continue to do that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
Girard, Colgan split in softball
It was a shame either Game 1 starting pitcher had to lose Tuesday night at Cheryl Stice Field, Alissa Schroeder of Girard and Ali Noyes of Colgan.
Schroeder, a young pitcher on the rise, and Noyes each pitched two-hitters and Colgan made a comeback from a 3-0 deficit in the sixth, plating four runs.
Carly Heatherly knocked a solo home run for Girard and Abbie O’Brien, Sydney Russell, Brooke Main and Taylor Bolinger scored runs for the Panthers in the decisive sixth inning.
Colgan won the first game 4-3 and the offenses awakened in the second game as Girard earned a split with a 9-7 victory.
Page 2 of 2 - Eight different Girard players collected hits — Heatherly and Jenna Schroeder two apiece and one each from Hope McLeod, Madison Smith, Tristan Broce, Hannah Jones, Allie Bennett and Kasey Ruark. Heatherly and Jones collected two RBI apiece and Heatherly and Bennett each hit doubles.
Meanwhile, for the Panthers, Katie Kolarik went a perfect 4-for-4 with four runs scored. She hit three singles and one double. O’Brien, Faith VanBecelaere, Jordan Fleming and Katelyn Flood each collected two hits.
Alissa Schroeder came on in relief and earned the win. Schroeder and Noyes each had a win and a loss in the doubleheader.
Girard finishes its season 12-4 and Colgan finishes its season 5-14. Kansas starts regional play next week.
St. Mary’s Colgan baseball 8, Girard 1
GIR 001 000 0 — 1 5 4
SMC 413 000 X — 8 9 0
Nick George, Jordan Baker (4) and Tucker Johnston. Christian Cedeno and Ryan Cedeno. WP: Cedeno. LP: George. E: Nate George 2, Johnston, Garrett Bailey. 2B: Ni. George; R. Cedeno, Austin Kratz. SH: Nate Grimaldi. SB: Grimaldi 2, C. Cedeno, R. Cedeno, Drew Dawson, Tully Yoakam, Colton Gilbert. CS: Brandon Walker; Sawyer Esch, R. Cedeno. HBP: Ni. George. LOB: GIR 6, SMC 6.
Colgan 12, Girard 2 (6 innings)
GIR 000 200 — 2 3 6
SMC 112 521 — 12 12 1
V.J. Piccini and Aaron Twarog. Cody Grilz, Nate George (4), Garrett Bailey (6) and Tucker Johnston, Bailey Crapson. WP: Piccini. LP: Grilz. E: Brandon Walker 2, George 2, Nick George, Teddy Paoni; Luke Marquardt. 2B: Drew Dawson. 3B: Colton Gilbert. SH: Twarog. SB: Christian Cedeno 2, Tully Yoakam, Gilbert. HBP: Na. George. LOB: GIR 3, SMC 5.
Colgan softball 4, Girard 3
GIR 101 010 0 — 3 2 2
SMC 000 004 X — 4 2 2
WP: Ali Noyes. LP: Alissa Schroeder. E: Tristan Broce, Kelci Murphy; Emily Dickey, Brooke Main. HR: Carly Heatherly. SH: Kasey Ruark; Amanda McBride, Main. SB: Jenna Schroeder. LOB: GIR 2, SMC 2.
Girard 9, Colgan 7
GIR 330 001 02 — 9 10 3
SMC 201 010 30 — 7 11 6
WP: Alissa Schroeder. LP: Ali Noyes. E: Madison Smith, Katie Jahay, Hannah Jones; Katelyn Flood, Katie Kolarik, Emily Dickey, Noyes, Brooke Main, Abbie O’Brien. 2B: Carly Heatherly, Allie Bennett; Flood, Kolarik. SF: Heatherly. SH: Heatherly. SB: Heatherly 2, Kasey Ruark. LOB: GIR 8, SMC 7.