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Panthers earn share of WCC West softball title

The Glencoe-Silver Lake softball team earned a share of the Wright County Conference West championship last week before opening this week with a blowout victory to open the Section 5AA playoffs.
A 10-0 shutout of New London-Spicer on Tuesday, May 14, earned the Panthers at least a piece of the conference championship.
Pitcher Briana Wraspir tossed a one-hitter at the Wildcats, while joining Elise Petersen and Kaitlyn Uecker with two RBI each in the five-inning victory.
GSL needed a win over second-place Litchfield on Thursday, May 16, to claim outright ownership of the WCC West crown.
However, Mother Nature and Dragons pitcher Taylor Draeger teamed up to force a split of the conference championship as Litchfield eked out a 3-0 extra inning win.
Draeger and Wraspir matched each other frame for scoreless frame as a strong wind blowing in out of the northwest acted like a brick wall for any ball hit in the air.
GSL pushed runners as far as second and third in the third inning, but could not score.
The Panthers were thwarted by Draeger and the wind from there, logging just one hit – a seventh-inning single from Lily Schmitt – in the entire game.
Litchfield pushed across three runs with two outs in the eighth inning to steal away the win and a share of the title. Both teams finished with an 11-3 circuit mark.
Wraspir struck out five of the first six batters she faced in the game and K’d eight in all, but was stuck with the hard-luck loss after facing 28 batters in all.
The senior hurler faced just 12 hitters one game later.
Wraspir tossed an abbreviated perfect game, retiring the scant dozen players she faced as GSL swamped Brooklyn Center 26-0 in the postseason opener on Monday, May 20.
Kaitlyn Uecker, who had a sure home run knocked back by the wind against Litchfield, smacked a three-run homer in the third inning against the Centaurs to highlight a heavy-hitting day for the hosts.
The Panthers took a 17-4 record into the second round of 5AA play, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, after the Chronicle went to press.