THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Wausaukee Makes Fourth State Appearance
The Wausaukee Rangers fell behind early but didn't give up in the Sectional Championship against Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah in New Holstein Thursday and were rewarded with the championship trophy and a trip to Madison thanks to a 7-5 final readout. The win moves the Rangers onto the State Tournament in Madison. This marks the fourth time the Rangers have made it to the big show. The last being in 2003 while their lone State Championship was earned in 1996.
Head Coach Sue Stoltenberg took time to talk about the ethos of her team this season.
"Heading into the WIAA Tournament, our focus was on a new season. "Destiny" became our new slogan," said Stoltenberg. "We earned the number 1 seed in our regional so it was really nice to play the games at home."
After three innings the Rangers faced a deep hole from which to climb out of as the EL/G led 4-0.
EL/G's Claire Feldmann started things off for her team with an RBI single for the 1-0 lead. Then in the second Wausaukee watched as EL/G's Shubert hit a sacrifice fly that brought in another run. Next Hannah Donhauser doubled for an RBI and scored on an error to bring the lead to 4-0.
"The sectional final really showed what this team is made of. We were the home team and down 5-1 going into the bottom of the 5th. The girls on this team have proven throughout the season that they have each other's backs," said Stoltenberg. "In that inning I gave a couple of other kids an opportunity to get a bat in their hands. The pressure was on and they came through in the clutch. It gave us a ton of momentum. When they say that hitting is contagious, it was in the bottom of the fifth for us. We scored 6 runs on 6 hits."
The Lady Rangers started to climb out of the trench they were forced into with one run in the bottom of the third.
That one run came off a Callie Orlando single which she latered scored on due to an error.
EL/G added one more in the top of the fourth for a 5-1 lead before Wausaukee opened up a can of runs to take the lead.
Wausaukee's Allison Versakas got things going for the Rangers with a single. Torri Jewett singled next followed by Kaila Backhaus on another single for the Rangers. Alexis Ranallo clubbed an RBI single while Brooke Lesperance swatted a two run single to improve the lead.
With the rally still in motion Callie Orlando reached base on an error while Maddison Renikow singled next. Renikow's single was followed up by Versaskas doubled for another run and the 7-5 lead.
"The next two innings, we were able to shut them down," said Stoltenberg. "Especially in a nerve wracking top of 7th, but Lexi and the defense got it done."
Lexi Zak took the win in the circle for the Rangers allowing six hits, five runs and five walks while striking out five while losing pitcher Holly Zorn gave up 11 hits, seven runs and one walk while striking out three.
At the plate for the Rangers Versaskas was two for two with two RBIs while Orlando and Jewett were both two for three. Lesperance was one of two with two RBIs.
"To see the kids celebrate and hold up the sectional plaque is truly something special," said Stoltenberg. "To be able to play and be a part of a state team provides memories that no one will be able to take from them. I told the girls to take it all in and savor every moment. Rest assured, we will be ready."
Wausaukee will take part in this years state tournament which will occur on Thursday at 7 p.m. on Madison's Goodman Diamond against Blair-Taylor.