Wausaukee Last Area Team Left Standing
Rangers' Wild Win
Has Cavs Feeling Blue
Two M&O Conference teams were matched up in the sectional semi-finals of WIAA's Division 5 softball playoffs. The Wausaukee Rangers hosted the Lena/St. Thomas Cavaliers Tuesday in their third meeting of the year. A home run normally brings joy, but this particular four-bagger may forever bring questions to the minds of many.
Maddison Renikow got Wausaukee started in the bottom of the first with a single. Sammy Gruszynski sacrificed Renikow to second and Torri Jewett recorded the RBI to give Wausaukee a 1-0 lead. The Rangers added to their lead in the second. Again, Renikow led off, this time with a walk and would later score in the inning to extend the lead to 2-0.
Jenn McMahon was hit by a pitch for the Cavaliers in the third inning and came around to score, cutting the lead in half, 2-1. Renikow continued to be a thorn in the Cavs' side as she walked, stole second and scored on a double by Kaila Backhaus making it a 3-1 contest. In the sixth, the Rangers added a run as Jewett reached on an error and scored on a well-executed squeeze play by Lexi Zak.
Down 4-1, the Cavaliers trimmed the by scoring two runs and making it a 4-3 ball game. With a runner on third, Marley Carviou stepped to the plate for Lena/STAA and crushed a two-run home run. It was ruled, however, by the home plate umpire that as Carviou leaped towards home plate, she missed the base. Carviou was called out, for the third out of the inning, with the game tied at 4-4.
Carviou, Lena/STAA's pitcher, never lost her composure and sat down the Rangers, in order, in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. The Cavs went scoreless in their half of the eighth giving the Rangers a chance to win, and they took it. Gruszynski reached safely and Jewett laced a double off the right field fence that scored Gruszynski for the controversial walk-off Wausaukee win, 5-4.
Carviou was saddled with the loss as she pitched seven and a third innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits, a walk, and piled up ten "K's". Lexi Zak earned the complete game win for Wausaukee, pitching a complete game, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits, a walk and nine strikeouts.
Jewett paced the Rangers at the plate with a 3-for-4 day including a double and two RBI, Renikow finished 1-for-3 with three runs scored. Carviou led the Cavs with a 2-for-4 game including a contentious triple and an RBI, Millie Benson also finished 2-for-4.
Wausaukee Powers Past
Tigerton in Regional Semi
The Wausaukee Rangers blasted their way into the post season Wednesday afternoon with a 15-0 three inning win over the visiting Tigerton Tigers in WIAA Regional softball action.
The Rangers were quick to strike, building an enormous 12-0 lead exiting the first inning. Maddison Renikow led off with a single and was brought home by Sammy Gruszynski on a single. Torri Jewett walked while Kaila Backhaus plated Gruszynski off another single. Both Backhaus and Jewett made their way home thanks to a Alexis Ranallo two RBI single
The onslaught continued as Lexi Zak took a base off an error for another RBI. Gruszynski, Jewett and Backhaus added RBIs before the inning came to an end for the 12-0 lead.
The second saw three more Ranger runs pile across. Renikow led off the inning with a walk while Gruszynski singled. Backhaus got an RBI and a base off a fielder's choice while Kaelyn Schlies hit a sacrifice fly for the final run of the evening.
At the plate for the Rangers Gruszynski was three of three with three runs and two RBIs. Backhaus was one of two for three runs and three RBIs while Ranallo was one for two with one run and two RBIs.
It was nearly a perfect game for Ranger pitcher Lexi Zak who allowed only one hit over her three innings. She gave up two walks while striking out two.
Tigerton's A. Brown took the loss giving up seven hits, 15 runs (seven earned) and six walks while failing to strikeout any Ranger hitters.
Kotecki Shuts Out
Rebels for Regional Win
The Coleman Cougars took a regional playoff victory over the Laona/Wabeno Rebels Wednesday evening 10-0.
Kyla Manning led off the first for the Cougars with a walk while Lauren Osterberg followed up with a single. Ashlee Mayer also hit a single. All three runners scored during the inning for the 3-0 lead.
Miranda Rost led off the second with a single and was altered scored for the 4-0 lead.
Coleman pitcher Annabelle Kotecki insured the Rebels would find no ground in this match up as she helped to quickly shutdown an early inning with strikeouts. By the third she has already amassed six "K's".
Leading off the third, Mayer found a base off a walk. Mariana Meissner hit a single. Both runners crossed in for the 6-0 lead.
The fifth saw Beth Gannigan and Annabelle Kotecki get plated for the 8-0 lead while Osterberg and Mayer tagged on runs during the sixth for the 10-0 lead.
In the circle for the Cougars Kotecki ended the day with 10 strikeouts. She allowed only two hits while walking no one.
Danielle Johnson took the loss for the Rebels allowing seven hits, six runs (five earned) and two walks.
At the plate for the Cougars Miessner was three of four with one run and four RBIs. Her opening game hit was a triple. Osterberg was two of four with two runs and two RBIs while Gannigan was two of three.
The Wausaukee Rangers took an 8-6 win over the visiting Bowler Panthers Friday evening effectively giving the Rangers a Regional championship.
Thanks to some good pitching and great defense the Rangers were able to hold the Panthers off for four innings.
The Rangers who did not see their first score cross till the third inning wasted no time in taking advantage of a few Panther lapses in coverage.
Madelyn Schlies got things rolling for the Rangers with a walk to lead off the inning. Maddison Renikow bunted next and reached off an error while Schlies stole home for the first run of the game. Torri Jewett walked next and was followed by Kaila Backhaus on a two RBI single. Alexis Ranallo also slugged a two RBI double as well to help propel the Rangers to their 7-0 lead.
Bowler responded in the fifth with a single run and were answered in the bottom half of the inning by a Renikow run.
Five Bowler runs in the sixth narrowed the Wausaukee lead to 8-6 which would hold as the game's final score.
At the plate for the Rangers Ranallo, Smith, Backhaus and Renikow all were one for three with one run. Backhaus and Ranallo both had two RBIs.
Bowler's Breitick took the loss allowing six hits, eight runs and four walks while striking out two.
Lexi Zak secured the circle win with six strikeouts to her name. She allowed six hits, six runs (five earned) while walking five.
Coleman Wins Second
The Coleman Cougars, who took the M&O Conference by storm this past season blasted their way into sectional play with a 7-4 win over the visiting Manawa Wolves Friday evening.
An ecstatic Jean LeVash, Coleman Head Coach, could barley contain her excitement after the win.
"It's the real thing, its been a wonderful journey so far," said LeVash. "We started working toward this in December. The kids starting weight lifting and worked on their skills throughout January and Feburary. We just keep improving."
But beyond improvement of skill LeVash made sure to point out that this team is more than just a group of kids getting together to play ball.
"This is just such an amazing team," said LeVash. "They are so solid, they are fun to be around. We talked all season about this team becoming a family and I feel like we are."
It was a pitcher's dual in this contest. Coleman, with circle ace Annabelle Kotecki certainly didn't make it easy on the Wolves' hitters.
"Manawa can really hit the ball," said LeVash. "They out hit Rosholt which is no easy task. I don't think Annabelle has had more than three balls hit right back at her all year and tonight she had more than ever."
But the same went for Manawa, who went with their ace M. Zeilke, found considerable success shutting down some of Coleman most astute hitters.
"She had that rise ball," said LeVash. "It really caught us off guard but our girls adjusted. We made the adjustment over the fourth inning and starting producing some hits."
After a quick top of the first which saw Miranda Rost in center field catch out two hitters, the Coleman girls stepped up to the plate.
Kyla Manning led off with a walk and was brought in by Lauren Osterberg on a single.
Kotecki began mixing up the speed of her pitches over the second inning, which caused some swings and misses by the Wolves. Coleman began to experience some tricky pitches in the bottom of the second. Employing a late rising fast ball, Zeilke struck out two.
The top of third saw the Wolves seize the lead thanks to runs from A. Wepner and C. Johnsen, giving the Wolves the 2-1 lead.
Coleman retook the lead over the fourth. Beth Gannigan singled to lead off while Kotecki also singled. Rost also took a base off a walk. All three runners scored for the 4-2 lead.
"We had a few girls get caught off guard on the bases tonight," said LeVash. " This is something we have worked very hard on. But Manawa was smart to help set those plays up. But I am very happy with the way we have be running the bases this season. We pushed and practiced this idea and they have been really getting it."
Then in top of the fifth the Cougars piled on all they needed to help secure the win. Ashlee Mayer walked to start things off followed by Gannigan on a walk. Kotecki doubled to bring home a run. Gannigan and Kotecki both crossed in for the 7-4 lead.
In the circle Kotecki allowed four hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out six.
At the plate Gannigan was two for two with two runs while Kotecki was two of three with two runs and two RBIs. Caitlin Huberty was one for three with two RBIs.
Fantastic Cougar Season
It was a long road for the Coleman Cougars this year, filled with excitement and success all along the way. But the wins came to an end Tuesday night as they ran into a tough Shiocton Chief crew who send them home for the season 5-1.
Coleman scored their first and only run during the fourth as Marianna Meissner clubbed a solo home run shot.
Shiocton answered with one over the bottom of the fourth and four more in the fifth for that winning 5-1 readout.
Bulldogs Past Bears
After earning the fourth seed in Division 3's WIAA playoffs, the Peshtigo Bulldogs played host to the Bonduel Bears Thursday. Extra innings were needed in the contest as the squads battled to a 1-1 tie after seven innings. In the top of the eighth inning, Bonduel scored the go-ahead run, but Peshtigo didn't go away.
Shae Tonn got the Bulldogs going right away in the first inning. Tonn drew a leadoff walk and advanced on a fielder's choice. After a single by Abbie Lindbom, Tonn scored on a sacrifice fly from Lexy DeBriyn to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.
Bonduel got the ball rolling in the fourth inning. Two errors and a single loaded the bases for the Bears with no outs. Jaden Bohm drilled a line shot to Peshtigo Ashley Dudka that she caught just inches from the ground. Dudka threw to first base that doubled off the runner and Jenna Thill threw to second base for the 4-3-6 triple play as Peshtigo escaped the inning unharmed.
"It showed they knew where to go with the ball. All I could do was count one-two-three and it was unbelievable. They knew what to do with the ball, they made the right throws and I'm glad they made good throws too. Great play," Peshtigo coach Tom Christensen said.
The Bears were able to secure a run in the fifth. Bryhn Reinke led off the inning with a single. After two sacrifices, Bonduel's leadoff batter Kailee Petersen hit a single to score Reinke, tying the game at 1-1.
Heading to extras, in the eighth inning Bonduel scored again. Petersen led off with a single and an error and a walk loaded the bases. Tonn coaxed an infield fly for the first out. Becca Carpenter stepped in and hit a fly out to right field that was deep enough to plate a run and the Bears grabbed their first lead of the game, 2-1.
In potentially their final at bats, the Bulldogs delivered in the clutch. Madi Martin was walked and Emma Frederickson ripped a single. Dudka followed up with a single that loaded the bases with no one out. Jenna Thill hit a fielder's choice that got the force out at home, but left the bases loaded with one out. Tonn came up and flew out to the short stop. Down one, with two outs in the eighth, in stepped senior Megan Behnke for Peshtigo. After watching three straight pitches to bring the count to 3-0, the next two pitches were called strikes. With a full count, Behnke fouled off four pitches in a row. With the 10th pitch of the at bat, on their final strike of the game, Behnke blasted a ground ball up the middle that went into center field. Frederickson and Dudka both scored and the Bulldogs won in walk-off fashion, 3-2 in eight innings.
When asked if she had hoped she would get one more chance, Behnke answered with, "Yeah, definitely. Especially with bases loaded, I wanted to be the one to have the walk-off hit. That feels really good, amazing."
"Megan's in the two-spot and she's come through a bunch of times this year. I knew she would make contact and she found a hole for the ball. That's why she's in the two-spot, I feel confident," said Coach Christensen.
Behnke was one of seven Bulldog hitters to record one hit on the day, along with her two RBI. Tonn earned the complete game win, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts.
Coach Christensen said of the win, "It was great, and a great win for the school. Bonduel is a tough team, we always play them tough. Last year we went there and got beat 3-0, they're tough and they should be proud."
The Lena/St. Thomas Aquinas Academy Cavaliers played host to the Marion Tigers Friday in Division 5's regional final. A quick start and solid defense was the perfect formula for the Cavs as they went on to win the matchup 4-1, advancing to sectionals.
After a scoreless top of the first, the Cavs wasted no time scoring runs in their half of the first. Kaitlyn Hodkiewicz led off with a single and Marley Carviou was hit by a pitch. Millie Benson laced an RBI double and Lena/STAA went up 1-0. Back-to-back ground outs brought home Carviou and Benson as the Cavs opened a 3-0 lead.
Carviou helped her own cause in the third as she laced a one-out triple to the right-center field fence. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Benson and the Cavs extended the lead 4-0. Marion plated one run in the top of the fourth inning, but that was all they could muster against Carviou.
When asked about her pitcher Marley Carviou, Coach Cindy Powers said she's consistent, "She doesn't get flustered and she's only had 15 walks all year. She's my only pitcher and she can maintain."
Lena/STAA advanced to sectionals with a 4-1 win. Carviou pitched a complete game, striking out 10 while giving up one run on five hits and zero walks. Carivou also recorded a 2-for-2 game including a double and a triple at the plate. Benson finished 2-for-2 as well with a double and two RBI.
"They played well. They're all coming around, this is a good time to move ahead and we're all excited. This was a good game and we've been peaking at the right time. Confidence is huge," said Coach Powers.
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