The decisive week: County teams make bids for conference titles on the diamond
Despite all the cancellations and rescheduling problems this spring prep season, the conference title races came into focus last week.
It was the decisive week.
It was decisive for Spring Valley-Plum City softball team as they clinched their second Dunn-St. Croix title in three years as they swept Elmwood to nail it down.
It was decisive for the Prescott softball team as they lost a doubleheader to New Richmond that helped the Tigers repeat as MBC champions.
And it was decisive towards indecision in the D-SC Small as a loss by Plum City to Elmwood kept the baseball title chase open.
Spring Valley-Plum City faced Elmwood twice last week and gave up just two runs and 10 hits in both contests combined
Stephanie Thompson was a big reason for this. She was the winning pitcher in both games as she struck out 15 Raider batters.
"She's been a very consistent performer," SV-PC head coach Earl Gunderson said. "Her arm is strong, can overpower hitters at the plate and her change-up has been working really well too. And she's hitting the ball along with Kimmy (Keehr) and Charlie (Nelson). When you get consistent performances from your seniors and upper classmen on your team, it trickles down to the entire and everyone plays better as a result."
Wednesday the Cardinals won a completion game over the Raiders in Elmwood 4-1. On Friday, the Redbirds won even more emphatically over their Eau Galle rivals in Spring Valley, 8-1. In that contest Keehr, Thompson and Nelson combined for eight of their team's nine hits and half of the team's runs. Keehr had two home runs and three RBIs and Thompson also homered. Both Keehr and Thompson had their four-baggers in the bottom of the fifth inning which broke open a 3-1 contest.
Staci Callow had two hits for Elmwood but the rest were scattered and the Raiders had no extra base hits.
Prescott put down
New Richmond put down Prescott with a doubleheader sweep in New Richmond back on May 5. The wins clinched the MBC title for the Tigers.
They key was 7-5 game one win that sent NR to big 9-1 victory in game two. The MBC's top pitcher Nikki Singerhouse recorded both wins and had nine strikeouts combined. Alyssa Krings was 3-for-3 with two doubles for Prescott in game one but the rest of PHS' hits were scattered and the Cards needed three unearned runs to keep the score close.
Singerhouse then tossed a three-hitter in game two. Hannah Bygd, Paige Spaulding and Ashley Stoeffel all had key run scoring hits for the Tigers.
Deciding not to decide
It could have been a decisive week in the Dunn-St. Croix Small. It appeared it was going to be.
Defending champ Plum City won key games over Pierce County rivals Spring Valley and Elmwood and lifted themselves into first place.
PC won 16-8 at Spring Valley back on May 5. The Blue Devils had 13 hits led by Andy Heath's three and two each for Zach Gilles, Chris Biederman, Dana Derricks and Shawn Ingli. Biderman had a double and two-run homer and Heath and Luke Schladweiler both had RBI doubles and Ingli drove in two runs with a hit. Valley had just two hits in the contest and scored their runs primarily through 18 walks given up by three PC pitchers. PC won by rallying for 11 runs in the top of the seventh inning.
The Devils then edged Elmwood 9-8 in Elmwood Thursday. Logan Radle led PC with three hits while Derricks and Gilles each had two. Radle drove in four runs off two doubles and Biederman blasted a solo home run. Plum City used three critical errors by the raiders to score three key runs. EHS' top five batters had two hits each. Mike Brunner, Alex Hammer and Kolt Wolske each drove in two runs and Karl Horwath scored three times. Horwath and Brunner both had doubles. Gilles was the winning pitcher.
The momentum was still in Plum City's favor Friday at home against Elmwood. Biederman just belted a solo home run in the first inning and was on the mound to protect his team's lead.
But Elmwood plated five runs in the sixth to win 6-2. Biederman struck out eight and gave up just two hits in five and two-thirds innings. Yet, Elmwood was able to score its runs off three errors. Howarth and Brunner
both had two hits and Kolt Wolske had an RBI double.
runner struck out 10 batters and gave up just four hits in seven inning for the win. Biederman hit another solo shot in the sixth.