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Another Viking steps up again

by MARK NELKE
Sports Editor | April 23, 2010 9:00 PM

POST FALLS - There's a lot of new faces on this year's Coeur d'Alene High softball team, but one thing has remained constant over the years - the Vikings keep battling during games until they make something happen.

Junior Jessica Lupinacci hit a two-run double in the third inning, and added a run-scoring single in the seventh as Coeur d'Alene beat Post Falls 5-2 in 5A Inland Empire League play on a sunny, breezy Thursday afternoon.

"We're so young, I'm trying to figure out just exactly what I have," Coeur d'Alene coach Larry Bieber said. "But what I keep finding is, I find new people that step up at different times, and they really do believe in one another."

Richelle Ashburn struck out five batters in the first two innings for Post Falls (10-6, 3-4 5A IEL), and finished with 13 Ks. But in the third inning, No. 9 hitter Randi Spencer started things for Coeur d'Alene (14-3, 4-2) with a one-out single to left. Leadoff hitter Kyeli Parker reached on an infield single into the hole at short. Elli Tindall's grounder scooted through the legs of second baseman Bri Joseph, and Spencer scored.

Lupinacci hammered a shot over the right fielder's head to drive in two runs for a 3-0 lead.

"We tried to get her (Ashburn) out of her rhythm a little bit," Bieber said. "We were stepping in, and she was on her own time schedule - get the ball, throw the ball ... she was getting real comfortable in that rocking chair. The kids did a good job making sure they were ready when they were in there."

Post Falls pulled within 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth on Heidi Mueller's two-run single, but Coeur d'Alene got the runs back in the top of the seventh.

With runners at first and second and two out, Tindall's pop fly behind second base fell in front of the onrushing center fielder for an RBI single. Lupinacci followed with an RBI single to left.

"I think we let that one get away," Post Falls coach Jack Foster said. "Two mistakes in that three-run inning, and a couple in that last inning. One thing - when we made a mistake, they took advantage with the big hit."

Lindsie Scholwinski, Coeur d'Alene's freshman left-handed pitcher, gave up three hits, struck out six and walked four.

"She kept us off balance the whole game," Foster said. "We didn't get a lot of good swings at her until that sixth inning."

Coeur d'Alene is in first place in a tightly packed 5A IEL, just ahead of Lake City (11-4, 4-3). Lewiston (13-7, 3-5) is in fourth.

Thursday's game was the first this season between the two teams - two previous games had been rained out.

Coeur d'Alene plays a doubleheader at Moscow on Saturday. Post Falls' next game is Tuesday at home - against Coeur d'Alene again.

Coeur d'Alene 003 000 2 - 5 5 2

Post Falls 000 002 0 - 2 3 1

Lindsie Scholwinski and Teigan Lockwood; Richelle Ashburn and Haley Walker. W - Scholwinski (9-1). L - Ashburn (8-3).

HITS: Cd'A - Parker, Tindall, Lupinacci 2, Spencer. PF, Collins, Mueller 2. 2B - Lupinacci.

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