Regional tournaments underway, FC wins WCC title but handed first loss of season

Tri-County Area Prep Softball Review and Preview

Eleva-Strum was finally able to dish out what they've been taking for a long time.

The Cardinals routed Whitehall in four innings 22-0 last week Thursday, May 11 as winning pitcher freshman Ruby Bartholomew became the first Central pitcher to both no hit and no run an opponent. The Cards also swept the season series against Lincoln as they beat the Hornets at home Monday, May 15 by a 3-1 score but lost their season finale at home Tuesday, May 15 4-3 to Independence/Gilmanton. E-S trailed the Indees 2-0 but the tied the score in the fifth. But the stalemate couldn't hold as I/G plated the runs they needed to late in the contest. The Cards also came very close to knocking off Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran on Tuesday, May 9 at Gelein Field in EC, losing only 3-1.

Eleva-Strum finishes the regular season 3-15 overall but playing its best softball as the WIAA regional tournament approaches. In fact it begins Thursday, May 18 with first round contests which Eleva-Strum will be involved with. A No. 9 seed, the Cards travel to New Lisbon today to take on the No. 8 seed Rockets in Division 5. The winner plays at No.4 ranked and top seed in the sectional Wisconsin Rapids Assumption on Tuesday, May 23.

Playing Whitehall may be what Osseo-Fairchild needs to break out of three-game slump late in the season. The Thunder, 10-8, host the Norse, 1-16, this Thursday, May 18 at Stoddard Park It's the first home playoff game in five seasons for O-F. The Thunder concluded its regular season with an 11-3 loss to Bloomer on Tuesday, May 16. O-F also took a 6-1 loss to Stanley-Boyd on Friday, May 12. O-F fell behind 4-1 in the first inning and couldn't catch up. Taylor Gunderson belted a solo home run for the Thunder and teammate Eleice Dahl had two hits.

The winner of this D-4 regional first round ballgame plays at No. 3 seed and Dairyland Conference runner-up Melrose-Mindoro (17-3) Tuesday, May 23 in the semifinals. The finals are on Thursday, May 25.

Meanwhile, there was good news and bad news for No. 3 ranked Fall Creek last week.

With their 17-0 shutout of Cadott on the road last week in four innings Thursday, May 11, the Crickets completed a perfect 14-0 record in the Western Cloverbelt Conference for their first league title since 2013 and only fourth in school history. The last time FC went perfect in the league was in 1985 at 10-0.

The bad news for Fall Creek, 22-1-1 is they are no longer have perfect record this season. The Crickets suffered their first loss at the Gilman Tournament last Saturday, May 13. to Edgar 15-7. They also tied No. 1 ranked in D-5 Stevens Point Pacelli 3-3, a game that not completed in the time allotted, in the same tournament.

The perfect conference record at least was maintained with a 15-2 win against Osseo-Fairchild on Tuesday, May 9 at Stoddard Park in Osseo. A close early contest was blown open in late innings as the Crickets were relentless in bunting, base hits and running the bases. FC's Sophie Johnson was the top hitter in the ballgame going 4-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs. FC's Karley Harriman was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate Jenna Fitch was the winning pitcher. Addi Koxlien and Trinity Knutson both had two hits for the Thunder with Koxlien driving in a run.

Fall Creek's conference season concluded a week ago but they're still active this week with non-conference games. The Crickets routed Colfax at Colfax Tuesday, May 16 by a 15-1 score and host Altoona today at 5 p.m. Their first WIAA D-4 regional tournament game is next Tuesday, May 23 against No. 8 seed Glenwood City or No. 9 Chetek-Weyerhaeuser. FC not only has the top seed in the tournament they also host the sectional final game Thursday, June 1 at 5 p.m.

Speaking of pitchers, Augusta celebrated the career of senior pitcher Sam Winsce as she became the school's all-time leader in strikeouts, recording No. 505 against No. 4 ranked Blair-Taylor on Monday, May 15 at home. This despite the 12-1 loss to the Wildcats which put the finishing touches on another Dairyland Conference title for B-T. But, the Beavers did sweep Whitehall last week Friday, May 12 in a doubleheader at home 7-1 and 8-2. In Game One Augusta's Kennedy Korger hit a double and triplke and drive in three runs. Parker Waugh also doubled. In Game 2 doubles were hit by Winsce and Tatum Krueger. Winsce combined for 13 strikeouts in both games. The Beavers lost Thursday, May 9 to Alma/Pepin in Pepin 15-5 in five innings but won at Durand-Arkansaw on Tuesday, May 9 by a 9-2 score. In that game both Olivia Meyer and Emma Lee had two hits and drove in a run and Winsce also had two RBIs along with 15 strikeouts.

Augusta's first regional tournament game is also in the D-4 semifinals. A No. 3 seed, the Beavers, 10-10 overall, host Cadott (3-12-1) on Tuesday, May 23 at 5 p.m.

WIAA Division 4 Softball Tournament Bracket:

WIAA Division 5 Softball Tournament Bracket:


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