Prep softball: Cards power past Old AbesApril 21, 2017 5:46pm

April 21--CHIPPEWA FALLS -- It didn't matter that a biting cold wind was blowing into the ballpark.

Chippewa Falls still stuck to its plan of gap to gap power. And wouldn't you know it, the Cardinals were able to make that strategy look just fine Thursday.

In a 32-hit explosion, Chippewa Falls bested Big Rivers rival Eau Claire Memorial 13-2 and 17-9 in a Big Rivers doubleheader at Casper Park.

Every position player had at least one hit on the day for the Cardinals, who batted around three different times between the two games.

"It's amazing, because no matter where you are in the lineup, any one of them can put it over the fence," said assistant Shelly Miller, who was filling in for coach Jared Faherty. "Even our slappers. That's a luxury."

Chippewa Falls (6-2, 3-1), ranked No. 7 in the Division 1 state poll, cranked out four home runs on the afternoon turned evening turned night.

Bailee Sillman provided the spark in the first game as her bases-clearing triple opened up the scoring in the bottom of the first, and her walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifth brought the game to a mercy rule ending.

The Cardinals also were aggressive on the basepaths and dictated tempo between the bags.

"We have a lot of fast kids who are smart on the bases," Sillman said. "It's one thing to have fast kids, but when you're smart, you know when to go."

Gillian Schaller had three home runs and knocked in 10 runs to continue her torrid start to the season.

"She's just a power hitter," Miller said of Schaller. "She sees the ball real well. We're proud to have her, I'll tell you that."

Sillman finished the day with five RBIs. Table setter Kaylee Frenette went 5-for-5 in the second game with four runs and four RBIs.

The Cardinals also turned a pair of double plays and made slick plays in the middle infield.

"We emphasized defense a lot," Sillman said.

Kathryn Wirtanen had three hits in the second game for the Old Abes (2-4, 0-2).


(c)2017 Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)

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