Little transition time for Tri-County area prep softball teams from regular season to playoffs

The final regular season games on the prep softball schedule in Wisconsin were Tuesday, June 8 and the first round of the WIAA regional tournaments start Wednesday, June 9

24 hours to switch over.

But only Osseo-Fairchild will be in playoff mode this week as they travel to La Crosse on Wednesday for a first-round match-up against La Crosse Aquinas. The Thunder have the No. 9 seed in their Division 3 sectional bracket and the Blugolds (7-10 overall) are No. 8 seed while O-F (8-9 overall) is No. 9. The Thunder come into the ballgame with some momentum as they edged Stanley-Boyd 14-11 last week Friday, June 4 thanks to Brooke McCune's grand slam homer. OFHS had a season-best 20 hits in the ballgame. This certainly offset being no-hit 24 hours earlier by Cadott in a 6-1 loss at home and being swept by Altoona last week Tuesday, June 1. If the Thunder win today they will travel to No. 1 seed Prescott on Monday, June 14 in the regional semifinals.

The rest of the Tri-County area's prep softball teams begin their playoff chase next Monday, June 14. Eleva-Strum (0-18 overall), the No. 7 seed in its Division 5 bracket is at No. 2 Independence/Gilmanton (10-11 overall) while Augusta (14-7) overall hosts Cadott with the Beavers the No. 4 seed and the Hornets (10-10 overall) No. 5 in their Division 4 regional semifinal match-up. Augusta comes into the playoffs with plenty of momentum, winning seven in a row, including the season finale this past Monday, June 7 at Whitehall 14-0. Clarisse TePaske blasted a home run to lead Augusta at the plate and winning pitcher Sam Winsce struck out 11 to add to her season total of 175, which is a new school record. Winsce, TePaske and Phoenyx Knuth all had multiple hits in the Dairyland Conference contest and teammate Kennedy Korger hit a triple, part of a school record seven on the season. The bulk of the Beavers recent wins have come in league play as Augusta beat Alma Center Lincoln 2-1 last week Tuesday, beat Melrose-Mindoro 11-4 on Thursday and Alma/Pepin 21-4 on Friday.

Fall Creek (11-12 overall) is the No. 3 seed and hosts No. 6 Elmwood/Plum City (8-7 overall) in a D-4 regional semifinal match-up next Monday. Unlike Augusta, Fall Creek stumbled down the stretch, losing four of five close contests and finishing 6-8 in the WCC. The Crickets were swept last week Tuesday by West Cloverbelt champion Chippewa Falls McDonell 8-3 and 9-6. FC did beat Eau Claire Regis on Thursday 9-3 with Jenna Fitch the winning pitcher with seven strikeouts and no walks while teammate Sam Olson blasted a two-run homer and Hannah Herren also had two hits. But the Crickets lost 24 hours later at Thorp 5-4 at home and lost in their season finale at Altoona 6-5.

The regional finals will be played next Wednesday, June 16 with the highest remaining seed hosting. Sectionals are Monday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 23.


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