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Softball: Ellsworth bows out of playoffs

Things were looking good from the get-go for Ellsworth against Osceola in the second round of the Division 2 Section 1 playoff as the Panthers tacked on three runs in the top of the first inning.

"We got off to a rolling start," said Ellsworth head coach Ryan Casper.

"Then, we let in five."

The Chieftains responded with five runs in the bottom half of the first inning. And Osceola was able to maintain the momentum, knocking out the Panthers with a 13-3 victory in five innings Tuesday in Osceola, Wis.

"I never felt like we were out of the game, even when they were up 10-3," Casper said. "I thought our girls would get it together, but (Osceola pitcher Carli Wagner) pitched a good game."

With two runners on base in the top of the first, Abby Giese drilled a two-run triple. The next batter, Aubrey Langer, brought Giese home to give Ellsworth a 3-0 lead.

But the Cheiftains were quick to respond, finishing the game with 14 hits and capitalizing on eight walks surrendered by the Panthers' Serena Hoisington.

Wagner led Osceola at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two runs. McKenzie Burke was 3-for-3 with three runs, and Mikayla Zais added two hits, a run scored and an RBI.

"I don't think she walked eight all season," Casper said of Hoisington, "and it didn't help that Osceola's a good hitting team."

After losing the lead, Ellsworth couldn't respond as Wagner and the Chieftains put together three straight 1-2-3 innings.

Finishing with five hits, Giese led the Panthers with two hits and two RBI. Jenna George and Langer each went 1-for-3.

Ellsworth ends the season at 9-5 overall.