Panthers impressive in season opener

VANDALIA, Ill. – The Plymouth Panthers looked in mid-season form as they defeated host Vandalia, Ill., 6-0, Friday afternoon to open their 2013 softball campaign.

Junior Rachel Romps fired a five-hit shutout with no walks and five strikeouts. The Panthers scored all of their runs in the top of the second inning.

“A great way to start our season against a solid southern team that had played a couple of games already,” said PHS head coach Gale Grahn.

“Rachel threw great – getting ahead of hitters all-game long. Our defense was spectacular for a first game. It was not only our first game but this was our first time outside on a diamond all spring.

“I was very pleased with the way the girls adapted to playing outside in a game setting for the first time,” Grahn said.

The Panthers, a Division 2 state qualifier last year, began practice March 11 but were limited to inside workouts due to the snow and cold weather. Plymouth’s other game on its southern trip was scheduled for Monday at Waterloo, Ill., but was canceled because of a snowstorm. Waterloo and Vandalia are near St. Louis, Mo.

PHS exploded for six of its 10 hits in the second. Mikaela Holdridge’s RBI double, followed by Sara Thompson’s two-run double capped off the scoring. Miranda Stauss and Emily Marty contributed one RBI each.

Thompson and Marissa Grapentine keyed the Panthers’ attack with two hits each. Thompson ripped two doubles and had a team-high two RBIs.

Grapentine, Brianna Sippel and Mckenna Nischke paced PHS in stolen bases with one apiece.

The losing pitcher was Amber Dugan who went the distance. Dugan allowed four earned runs and two walks to go with three strikeouts. Vandalia is 0-3.

The Panthers’ home game Thursday, March 28 versus West Bend East has been postponed due to the snow. A makeup date hasn’t been determined yet.



Score by Innings
Plymouth............…060 000 0 – 6 10 0
Vandalia…..........…000 000 0 – 0 5 1
Rachel Romps and Sara Romps; Amber Dugan and Paige Ehrat. W – R.
Romps, 1-0. L – Dugan. 2Bs – Plymouth, Sara Thompson 2, Mikaela Holdr_ idge; Vandalia, Ehrat 2.

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