It turned out to be a pretty good week for the Elk Mound softball team as they traveled to Pepin-Alma to take on the defending conference champs April 13 and came home with a 7-4 win, then stayed home for a pair of games, going into extra innings to defeat Chetek-Weyerheauser 2-1 April 16 then just a day later beat Glenwood City 8-4. The Mounders are now 6-0 overall and lead the conference with a 4-0 record.
In a well played game with no errors on either team and all of the runs scored being earned, it was all knotted up at 4-4 heading into the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Abbey Olson and Lexi Delong came up with back to back singles and were plated when Elizabeth Schreiber smacked a home run to centerfield for a 7-4 Mounder lead. The Eagles threatened in the bottom of the seventh when scored a run and had two runners on the basepaths, but Olson, who had taken over on the mound in the fifth inning for Dayna Kotecki, put the fire out to earn the win.
Schreiber was 3 for 4 in the hitting department with four RBIs, Kotecki batted 3 for 4 with an RBI, DeLong was 3 for 3 with an RBI and Olson went 2 for 4. Kotecki gave up four runs on nine hits with two strikeouts in the first four innings and Olson allowed one hit with four walks and two Ks.
ELK MOUND 2 1 0 0 1 3 1 – 7
PEPIN-ALMA 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 – 5
Defense was the name of the game again for the Mounders as they played errorless ball for the second straight contest. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Kari Jo Nigon smashed a double over the left fielder’s head then moved to third on a shot to the shortstop off the bat of Jade Sorenson. A throwing error on the shortstop then allowed Nigon to score for a 1-0 Mounder lead.
The Bulldogs knotted the score in the sixth and neither team could break the tie until the bottom of the eighth when Mounder Lauren Scharlau started off the inning with a bunt single. Olson then sent a hard ground ball to the shortstop who was having a rough day as she misplayed the ball again which put runners on second and third. Lexi DeLong then came up with the clutch hit as she banged a walk off single up the middle to bring Scharlau home.
“Their pitcher threw harder than anyone we’ve seen so far this year and she kept the ball up in the zone,” Mounder coach Dylan Pronschinske said after the exciting win. “We finally started making the adjustments on her late in the game.”
Kotecki pitched the first six innings, allowing five hits with five strikeouts and no free passes while Olson finished it off, surrendering just one hit with three Ks and also did not walk anybody.
“Dayna and Abbey did a great job hitting their spots and keeping their hitters off balance with their off speed pitches,” Pronschinske said.
CHETEK-WEYERHEAUSER 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 – 1
ELK MOUND 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 – 2
The Mounders were down 1-0 before they had a chance to bat but took care of that problem quickly when they scored twice in the bottom of the first. DeLong singled and Schreiber slammed a shot over the left centerfield fence for a 2-1 lead. They had a chance to add some runs in the third but they left bases loaded and it looked like it might hurt when the Toppers knotted it in the fourth when they drew a pair of walks and added a single to left field. Mounder left fielder Morgan Polden might have saved a run when she threw the runner out at third for the third out of the inning on the base hit.
Not to worry however, as with two outs in the bottom of the inning, Olson beat out an infield hit, DeLong smacked a single to right and Schreiber sent her fourth home run of the season over the centerfield fence for a 5-2 lead.
Elk Mound added a run in the fifth when Jade Sorenson sent a shot down the third base line and Brianna Edington moved her to third with a base hit to right field. Polden plated Sorenson on a ground ball out and the Mounders held a 6-2 advantage.
The Hilltoppers left a runner on base in the sixth after Olson, who took over on the mound for Kotecki in the fifth inning, caught the batter looking at a third strike to end the inning. Elk Mound was still smacking the ball and put up two more runs in the sixth when DeLong led off with a single and scored on a Schreiber hit up the middle which was bobbled by the centerfielder. Kotecki reached on the shortstop’s error and after the Topper leftfielder made two good plays on line drive shots for the first and second outs, Morgan McDougall brought Schreiber in on another error on the shortstop and it looked like the Mounders were in control up 8-2. But the Toppers proved a week ago they were no pushover when they came up with five runs in the seventh to beat Colfax and they made a run at the Mounders. Olson walked two batters with one out then Leslie Ludtke sent the ball to the fence in left field for an RBI. A groundout to second baseman DeLong scored another run but DeLong then snared a pop up to end the game.
“Our pitchers struggled a bit today but got outs when we needed them,” Pronschinske said. “We also had hits at key times and had just one error early in the game. Schreiber is in a zone with her bat and is hitting everything hard,” he added.
Schreiber finished 4 for 4 on the night her two taters and a double for five RBIs while DeLong was 3 for 4 and scored three times. Kotecki picked up the win, going four innings with three walks and one strikeout while Olson finished off the last three innings, giving up just one hit with four free passes and three Ks.
GLENWOOD CITY 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 – 4
ELK MOUND 2 0 0 3 1 2 X – 8