ELK MOUND — With all the rain outs on local ball diamonds this spring, teams were scrambling to get games in before regional tournaments began. Such was the case for the Colfax and Elk Mound softball teams after a double header scheduled for Monday, May 19 was postponed due to a day long downpour. Colfax traveled to Elk Mound the next day to play after the Mounders finished a game against Pepin-Alma which began a few weeks ago and was stopped due to rain. In a game that would lead one of these three teams to a conference championship, the Mounders lost to P-A 14-3, then lost to the Vikings 7-4. P-A traveled to Glenwood City after their game and won yet another conference title with a 19-3 win over the Hilltoppers. Elk Mound went to Colfax to play a rare Wednesday game to finish out the regular season for both teams and the results were rather anti-climatic as they gained some revenge with an 11-1 six inning win to finish in second place while Colfax ended up third.
The game began in the fourth inning with the Mounders down 6-3 but the Eagles, knowing a win here and later at Glenwood City would keep them at two conference losses, came out strong and used power hitting and five straight bunts to throw Elk Mound off their game and scored seven runs in the seventh to take the win. The Mounders had plenty of baserunners as they drew eight walks with five hits in the split contest but couldn’t put anything together in the last three innings. Morgan McDougall was the only Mounder with more then one hit, going 2 for 4 while Mckenna Borofka, Kaity Johnson and Dayna Kotecki all brought in a run. Kotecki took the loss, giving up eight hits and striking out five, but uncharacteristically of her, walked nine Eagles.
“We simply didn’t hit the ball well and had one awful seventh inning,” Elk Mound coach Dylan Pronschinske said. “Kotecki finished with nine weather aided walks and she had only 38 all year.This was definitely a team we should have beat.”
PEPIN-ALMA 0 0 3 4 0 0 7 — 14
ELKMOUND 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 — 3
Colfax-Elk Mound, game 1
Kotecki came out throwing strikes to open the game but the Vikings were waiting for them as they came up with five straight hits, starting with a sharp single by Karina Wait followed by a two run tater over the left field fence by Kori Buchanan for a 2-0 lead. Mallie Doucette and Lakken Meredith both slammed base hits to left and moved up a base on a wild pitch. Emily Tuschl then connected for a double to the fence for a couple of RBIs to up the lead to 4-0 before Kotecki settled down and got the next three Vikings to go out.
The earlier loss may have taken the wind out of the Mounders sails early on as they struggled at the plate against Colfax pitcher Meredith. The Vikings added a pair of runs in the second on a two out single by Buchanan, a shot off the fence by Doucette for a double who went to third on the throw home, and Meredith followed with her own double to the fence.
Elk Mound threatened in the bottom of the inning with a one out walk to Katie Benson and a base hit from Emily Ausman, but Colfax shortstop Doucette snared a line drive and a pop fly to end the inning. Colfax left two runners on base in the third, and the Mounders took the goose egg off their side of the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning when Borofka singled, Lexi DeLong reached on a fielding error after laying down a bunt which sent Borofka to third, and Borofka came home on another error on a pickoff attempt at third. After Johnson reached on another successful bunt, the Mounders had runners on first and third but a deep fly ball to left field by Benson was gathered in by Equality Wilson for the third out.
The Vikings tacked on another run in the fourth on a Doucette single, another Meredith double and another RBI double from Tuschl for a 7-1 lead. Elk Mound had a wake up call somewhat with two outs in the bottom of the fourth when Abbey Olson drew a walk and moved to third on a bad throw while stealing second, and scored on a wild pitch. A ground ball to Doucette ended the inning with Colfax up 7-2.
To say Kotecki found her groove would be an understatement as she put the Viking batters down in order the final three innings, making it 11 straight from the fourth inning on. Meanwhile, she and her teammates were trying to get the bats going as they came up with two runs in the fifth on back to back singles from Elizabeth Schreiber and Kotecki, followed by a two RBIs blast for a double from Johnson. Meredith however, took control and got out of the inning without further damage as Wilson snared two fly balls in left. McDougall led off the sixth with a solid smash down the left field line for a double but couldn’t move up on a ground out to second. After a fly ball to center for the second out, DeLong sent a bloop single to the outfield to move McDougall up but another ground ball to Doucette ended yet another Mounder threat.
In their final at bat, Kotecki led off with a base hit but Doucette flagged down a pop up behind third, then Doucette and second baseman Tuschl combined to get the final two outs at second, giving coach Joe Doucette his first win over Elk Mound in his three years of leading the team.
“This was really a good win for us over a great program and a very good pitcher,” coach Doucette said. “Meredith did her job on the mound, we hit the ball well and played a very good defense. We were in the conference race until the last day but a couple of tough losses earlier in the season came back to haunt us.”
Meredith scattered 11 hits and did not strike out anybody but issued only one free pass to earn the win. Doucette and Meredith were 3 for 4 at the plate while Buchanan was 2 for 4.Tuschl had a trio of RBIs in the contest.
Kotecki also gave up 11 hits and struck out three Vikings and didn’t walk anybody in the loss. Johnson collected three hits while Schreiber and Kotecki both had two.
“We played without making an error but couldn’t get the big hit with runners on base,” Pronschinske said. “Kotecki left some pitches out over the middle early on but she showed what she is capable of by giving up just three hits and striking out three in the last five innings,” he added.
COLFAX 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 — 7
ELK MOUND 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 — 4
Elk Mound at Colfax
It was the Mounders’ turn to come out fast as they picked up two runs on a Borofka walk, a bunt that wasn’t fielded, a wild pitch, a ground ball out and a dropped third strike that was also misplayed in the first inning. Kotecki started where she finished off in the previous game by putting Colfax down in order and the Mounders then exploited a weakness in the Viking’s defense when after Ausman reached on an infield hit, they put down two straight bunts which were not fielded cleanly. A couple of more hits by Borofka and DeLong along with a throwing error led to three more runs, Borofka came home on a wild pitch, Schreiber walked and stole second, Kotecki brought in a run on a ground ball out and at the end of the inning it was 8-0 for the Mounders.
Shipman broke up the no hitter with a two out single in the second but after a Wilson walk, both were left stranded. Elk Mound added a run in the third with a double by Borofka to bring Olson in and Colfax finally put a run across in the fourth after Meredith singled, moved to third on a Tuschl double and came home on Wilson’s single to short right field.
Knutson came in to pitch, giving Meredith a break in the fifth inning, and after walking the first two batters, her defense came through as third baseman Meredith snagged a line drive and doubled the runner off second, then Knutson, in self defense more or less, snared a line drive from DeLong for the third out. Elk Mound finished things off with two runs in the sixth off Knutson and Buchanan who took over the mound duties with one out, and Kotecki finished it off with two ground balls and a fly out.
“As well as we played the day before, we struggled today,” coach Doucette said. “We made six errors early on and that took us out of the game. Their pitcher (Kotecki) bounced back very well after we hit her in the previous game,” he added.
DeLong led the Mounders with a pair of hits and two RBIs and Borofka, DeLong, Schreiber and Olson all crossed the plate twice. Kotecki gave up four hits with five Ks and one walk for the win. Four different Vikings all had one hit and Meredith absorbed the loss, going four innings, allowing nine runs with four strikeouts and three free passes.
ELK MOUND 2 6 1 0 0 2 — 11
COLFAX 0 0 0 1 0 0 — 1