Pacelli softball wins CWC-8 Title on Shafranski’s walk-off homer
High School softball team
won the Central Wisconsin Conference-8 (CWC-8) Title in dramatic fashion
Friday, May 20.
The third-ranked Cardinals (19-3) and sixth-ranked
Weyauwega-Fremont (20-4) were tied atop the CWC-8 standings entering last
Friday, when they resumed their game from April 5, which had been postponed due
to weather with the score tied innings.
With the Conference Title on the line at Spud Field at Woyak
Park Friday night, the game remained tied at 2-2 entering the bottom of the eighth
inning, when Pacelli junior center fielder Christonna Shafranski hit a one-out,
solo home run to give the Cardinals the Conference Title with a 3-2 win.
“We weren’t really sure how it was going to shake out, when
you lose five seniors and a chunk of the order (from last year),” said Pacelli
softball head coach Ann Molski. “I knew we had talent, I just didn’t know how
they were going to respond, and what they were going to do.
“And they’ve really grown together as a team,” she said. “So
that’s been the nice thing about this group, they’ve really grown. We’re
different players from where we were at the beginning of the year, compared to
In their second game of the season, the Cardinals hosted
defending Conference Champion Weyauwega during a mix of snow and rain at Zenoff Park
April 5, where Weyauwega scored one run in the top of the second inning to take
a 1-0 lead, and then added another run in the top of the fifth inning to go up
Pacelli answered in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out
double from sophomore Cailin Firkus, and one-out later, sophomore catcher Paige
Hintz hit a two-run home run to tie the game at 2-2, before the game was
postponed due to the weather.
Each team had one conference loss during the regular season,
as Pacelli fell at home 2-1 to 15th-ranked Shiocton (18-4, 11-3) April 21 and
then won at Weyauwega 10-3 April 28, to leave both teams at 12-1 in the CWC-8,
with the conclusion of the April 5 game left to decide the Conference Champion.
It was resumed Friday, where neither team scored in the
first two innings to leave it tied at 2-2 and send it to extra innings.
“It’s the first suspended game I’ve ever coached in,” said
Molski. “In the sixth, we got runners on second and third, two outs, and we
couldn’t execute what we needed to do.
“Brook (Nagorski) and (Weyauwega pitcher Kiley) Akey battled
back and forth,” she said. “They had some runners on, and we were able to keep
them at bay.”
In the top of the eighth, Pacelli junior pitcher Brook
Nagorski held Weyauwega without a run for the third inning in a row to send the
game to the bottom of the eighth inning, where with one out, Shafranski hit the
solo home run to left field to lift the Cardinals to a 3-2 victory and the
“Chrissy came up to bat, and (earlier) there was an error in
center field, and Chrissy had said all she wanted to do was get a nice little
hit to make up for her error,” said Molski. “And then she sent it over the
“It was just phenomenal,” she said. “It was really, really
Pacelli was back at Spud Field Monday, May 23, for a
nonconference make-up game against Marathon in the regular-season finale, where
Marathon scored three runs in the top of the first inning and two more in the
third to take a 5-0 lead.
The Cardinals answered with five runs in the bottom of the
third to tie the game at 5-5, but Marathon
responded with two runs in the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.
Pacelli came back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth
to go up 9-7 and then added two more runs in the sixth to close the scoring on
an 11-7 win, as freshman pitcher Karah Kluck got the win in relief of junior Kaitlin
Rogers, while senior Sydney Alery was 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBI and
Shafranski went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI to lead the offense.
“We were a little flat,” said Molski. “And that’s what is so
hard, because you come off of this emotional, roller-coaster high (against
“But we came together as a team, which is what we’ve always
talked about, ‘being a team,’ and came out with the win,” she said.
Pacelli received the second seed in its Sectional and was
rained out of its Regional Semifinal against seventh-seeded Iola-Scandinavia
Wednesday, May 25, as the two teams will meet at at Woyak
Park Thursday, May 26.
“We play the regular season to get a good seed,” said
Molski. “We’ve got a good seed, now we have to put the work in to win the
The winner will take on either third-seeded Weyauwega or
sixth-seeded Westfield in the Regional Final Friday, May 27.
The Sectional Semifinal will be held at Markesan Tuesday,
May 31, where top-ranked and defending Division 3 State Champion Laconia (22-0),
which beat Pacelli 5-1 April 16, fourth-seeded Shiocton or fifth-seeded and
11th-ranked Oshkosh Lourdes (20-2) are potential opponents.
Pacelli will host the Sectional Final at Woyak Park
June 2, as the other half of the Sectional includes top-seeded Oconto,
second-seeded Spencer and third-seeded Marathon,
while the defending WIAA Division 4 State Champion Cardinals will look to earn a
trip to state for the fourth time in five years.
“I really feel that whoever comes out of our Sectional, is
going to be State Champ,” said Molski. “We’ve got No. 1 Laconia, we’re ranked
third, but it’s a tough bracket, and our conference is tough.
“It’s a battle all the way through,” she said. “There’s not
a game from this point on that can be taken lightly.”