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Softball: O'Neil pitches shutout; Wolves mount comeback in fifth inning

Ellsworth junior Avery O'Neil pitched a shutout against the New Richmond Tigers on Tuesday, April 9. (File photo)

The Ellsworth Panthers collected their first shutout win of the season after junior pitcher Avery O'Neil held the New Richmond Tigers scoreless on Tuesday, April 9.

O'Neil surrendered three hits during her six innings in the circle, struck out 10 batters and walked three.

While O'Neil took care of business in the circle, her teammates dominated at the plate where they outhit the Tigers (2-3 overall, 0-2 Middle Border Conference) 12-3. Sophomore Brianna Giese went 4-for-4 at the plate, scored three runs and recorded three RBI. The sophomore third base player and Kaitlyn Nugent both recorded inside-the-park home runs in their team's six-inning win.

Ellsworth (4-0, 2-0) will continue its season on Friday, April 12, when the Panthers head to Baldwin-Woodville High School to face the Hawks (2-2, 0-1).

Elmwood/Plum City 7, Colfax 5

An early 5-1 deficit couldn't hold back the Elmwood/Plum City Wolves in their game against the Colfax Vikings on Tuesday night.

After failing to put up any runs in the bottom of the second inning, the Wolves (3-0 overall, 3-0 Dunn-St. Croix Conference) brought players home in every subsequent half inning at the plate.

EPC managed to tie the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth after Brooklyn Link hit a 2-run single to center field. Sophomore pitcher Anna Blanford held the Vikings scoreless in the top of the fifth, and Rowan Rupakus gave her team its first and lasting leading of the game by grounding into a fielder's choice, which allowed Bailey Ginsbach to score the go-ahead run.

The Wolves scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Mikinzie Ingli brought Link home on a line drive to right field, and Blanford continued to make things difficult for the Vikings (0-1, 0-1) who were unable to score after the second inning. Ingli went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the Wolves' batters.

Blanford pitched all seven innings for the Wolves and allowed four earned runs on nine hits. She walked two batters but recorded nine strikeouts.

Jozie Buchanan took the loss for the Vikings after giving up six runs on five hits in the final five innings of the game.

The Vikings may have outhit the Wolves, but they committed six costly errors compared to the Wolves' single errant play.

EPC is scheduled to resume its season on Monday, April 15, when the Wolves host Elk Mound (1-1, 0-0) in Plum City.