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U-Hi softball runs winning streak to five

They teach softball players how to strive for perfection at a young age at University.

Titans freshman second baseman Kirsten Anstrom understands the motivation.

“I feel that I need to compete with the seniors,” Anstrom said. “It’s my goal to get almost as good as them.”

She’s on her way. Anstrom finished 2 for 4 on Tuesday, with two runs scored, two runs batted in and three stolen bases, while helping the Titans (11-2 Greater Spokane League) to a 7-4 win at Mead (8-5).

Anstrom improved her batting average to .463 and is among the league leaders with 20 RBIs and 16 runs.

She’s a big reason why U-Hi has won five consecutive games to move within one-half game of Central Valley (11-1), the last team to defeat the Titans. The rematch is May 9, the final day of the regular season.

“We’ve been working really hard because we want to come back and beat CV,” Anstrom said. … “We’ve been talking more in the infield and just having fun.”

“If we run into a team that has its ‘A’ game going, we have to be perfect,” U-Hi coach Jon Schuh said. “And so we have to put pressure on ourselves to do that. And whether people agree with it or not, that’s just how we do it. We’re striving for perfection in a game that has a lot of failure in it, if that makes any sense whatsoever.”

Anstrom’s two-out RBI single to center field keyed a two-run fifth for a 4-1 Titans lead. She added an RBI single to right to start a three-run seventh, scoring junior Rachael Johnson, who led off with a single and stole second base.

U-Hi needed the runs because Mead struck for three in the bottom of the seventh, with RBI singles by Tessa Beloved and Erin Kautzman.

U-Hi’s Alex Douglas had scattered four singles and allowed no earned runs through six.

“There’s a play or two (during the fifth, when Mead had two errors) that we could have made that could have held (the score) there,” Panthers coach Joel Shawen said. “But you never know how the game is ultimately going to end up. I’m just proud of the girls in how we battled back and got after it.”

Mead dropped into a fourth-place tie with Mt. Spokane, one game behind Lewis and Clark (9-4).