SPASH earns share of 18th straight Valley title with win over Merrill

Brandon Lang

Sports Reporter

May 11, 2017

Plover – The SPASH Panthers softball team scored runs in every inning and rode Aubrey Drohner’s two-hit effort on their way to an 11-0 drumming of the Merrill Blue Jays.  With the win they clinched at least a share of the Wisconsin Valley Conference title for the 18th straight year and 19 out of the last 20.

“One of our goals every year is to win the Valley, and to be selfish I don’t want to share it.  I’m really proud of our girls and we did what we had to to win today,” said SPASH head coach Tom Drohner.

Three of the first four batters reached for SPASH before Halle Pavelski hit a grounder to the shortstop that drove in their only run of the first.

Drohner pitched a 1-2-3 second and the Panthers went right back at it.  A single and two walks loaded the bases immediately and Ally Miklesh hit a sac-fly to center to make it 2-0.  Brittany Flugaur blooped one into right field to score another.  An error on the third basemen plated SPASH’s fourth run before Pavelski delivered again with a two-run double.  Catcher Sam Saloun grounded past short to extend the lead to 7-0.

What started out as an ideal third quickly turned into something else. After Drohner struck out the first two batters the Panthers committed back-to-back errors, something very unusual for them.

“You don’t want those errors to turn into runs and it doesn’t happen very often to us,” said Drohner.  “They’re high school players and you just hope that they can pick each other up and make some plays and we were able to do that today.”

Kayla Lass led off with a solo homer in the bottom of the third to make it 8-0 before the Panthers infield redeemed themselves by recording three straight groundball outs in the top of the fourth.

SPASH scored their final three runs off a mammoth shot by Andrea Cherney, which was measured post game at 100 feet beyond the fence.

“We play our home games on a launching pad and I think I like that,” said Drohner.  “Andrea Cherney’s shot might be the longest I’ve ever seen here.”

Drohner was stellar on the mound for SPASH.  She had control of all her pitches and located her fastball very well.  She allowed two hits while striking out four and walking none.

“Aubrey made some great pitches.  When she has command like she did today I’m excited for what our future brings,” said Drohner.

Flugaur, Pavelski, Cherney, and Saloun each went 2-3 for the game while Pavelski and Cherney drove in three runs apiece.  Lass reached on every at bat going 1-1 with two walks.

SPASH continues to run the gauntlet on Saturday when they face a good Chippewa Falls team before coming back and playing No. 4 ranked Bay Port at home on Monday.

“This may be the toughest schedule we’ve ever played and obviously you’d like to see us win every game but you learn from losses too and I think that’s important for us to build off of,” said Drohner.

SPASH is now 14-5 on the season and 10-0 in conference play.


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th R H E
Merrill 0 0 0 2 0 X X 0 2 1
SPASH 1 6 1 3 X X X 11 9 2


WP: Drohner

LP: Schroder

2B (SPASH): Flugaur 2, Pavelski

HR (SPASH): Lass, Cherney

One thought on “SPASH earns share of 18th straight Valley title with win over Merrill

  1. Merlin Romenesko

    Great work, SPASH!!! Great work on your part, too, Tom!!!! And, Aubrey, I’m so proud of you!! Grandpa


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