Henderson drives in three as North takes round one of softball crosstown series

The crosstown rivalry made its way to the softball diamond Tuesday where the Eau Claire Memorial Old Abes hosted the Eau Claire North Huskies. The game was a scoreless pitcher’s duel until the fifth inning when the Huskies grabbed a pair of runs that ultimately keyed North’s 3-0 win.

All three runs came courtesy of senior Cadence Henderson. The senior drove in both runs in the fifth and tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. Meanwhile North pitchers Madisyn Parker and Ally Quaschnick were able to keep the Old Abes off the board. Memorial had traffic on the bases all day but was never able to break through.

That trend was set in the opening inning. The Old Abes were able to get a pair of runners on in the bottom of the frame, but a good pitch from Parker froze shortstop Ella Ray to escape the jam.

Escaping jams became something of a habit for Parker throughout her five-inning start. Memorial again had two runners on and cleanup hitter Evelyn Kolar at the dish, but Parker was able to get the second baseman to pop back to her to end the threat.

Memorial’s best chance to scratch some runs across against the righty came in the fifth. Erin Holzinger and Rylie Maas were stationed at second and third base with Kolar up once again. Parker once again wiggled her way out of trouble by getting the Abes second baseman to foul out to first and kept the score 2-0.

Ally Quaschnick entered in relief of Parker in the sixth inning, stranding a pair of Abes at the corners herself before hurling a 1-2-3 seventh for the win.

Memorial starter Mackenna Dohms was stingy with the Huskies lineup as well. North itself stranded a couple of leadoff doubles itself before finally striking in the fifth inning.

Adelai Matts and Megan Standiford led the top of the frame off with a pair of perfect bunts— Matts’ down the third baseline and Standiford’s getting past Dohms and was unplayable at second base — before advancing to second and third with no outs on a passed ball.

Dohms was able to strike out the next batter and got ahead 0-2 on Henderson but the North senior battled, fouling off several pitches. Dohms tried again with an 0-2 count, but Henderson served the offering to left-center field.

“When I was at bat you know, nothing really [specific] went through my head,” Henderson said. “Just contact on the ball. And that’s what I did.”

Both Matts and Standiford came in to score while Henderson advanced to second. It wound up being all North needed, but after Standiford led off the seventh with a triple, Henderson drove her in once again with a sharp single to left for good measure.

“It was a really good at-bat,” Henderson said. “I’m just proud of myself and my team.”

North and Memorial will meet one more time 5 p.m. Thursday at Eau Claire North high school in each team’s final regular season game. Both teams will be looking for a little more momentum before heading into the postseason. The Division 1 tournament bracket has yet to be announced.

“I’m super proud,” Henderson said. “It’s the last week of [regular season] softball and I’m just super excited to just give it my all, you know.”