After losing three straight and six of its previous seven games, the Boyceville softball team was in desperate need of some wins.
And that is just what it got last week.
One day after a heartbreaking, extra innings home loss to Elk Mound on April 20, the Bulldogs found the remedy in Spring Valley when they routed the Cardinals 18-8 and complimented it just two days with an impressive but tight 3-2 triumph over Elmwood at home.
The pair of victories helped Boyceville get back to .500 in conference (4-4) and overall (6-6) play.
The Bulldogs will have an opportunity to add to that winning streak as it plays its next three contests at home beginning yesterday with Glenwood City. Plum City and St. Croix Central will come to Pafko Memorial Park for games on Thursday, April 30 and Monday, May 4 respectively before Boyceville travels east on Highway 170 to face Colfax on May 5.
Bulldogs nip Raiders
Boosted by the confidence of its 10-run win at Spring Valley April 21, Boyceville looked to continued its winning ways against Elmwood, who came to Pafko Park Thursday, April 23 fresh off an 8-3 loss at home to Glenwood City.
In a contest where hits and offense were few, Boyceville was generated just enough of both to squeeze out a 3-2 win thanks, in large measure, to the rock solid pitching performance of Katie Kegen. The junior allowed the Raiders just three hits and two walks while she struck out five to earn the complete game victory.
Madysn Riek and Brooklynn Blaser boosted the Bulldogs’ offense as each went 2-for-3 at the plate.
It was Riek’s first hit of the day, a two out triple in the bottom of the second, that broke a scoreless deadlock.
Kylie Kruger came in to score the first run of the game on Riek’s blast and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage.
It remained a 1-0 game until the Raiders’ fourth inning. That’s when Elmwood scored a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead.
Hannah Feuker was able to get a hold of a Kegen pitch and hit a single with one out. Kegen then walked the next Raiders’ batter to put a pair on base.
Kegen would get the ensuing Elmwood player to pop out but Joy Schwebach collected Elmwood’s second hit of the inning to drive in a pair of runs and put the Raiders out front.
Boyceville knotted the game in the bottom half of the inning without the aid of a hit. After Maddy Bygd drew a walk from Elmwood hurler Shelby Hall, Kylie Krueger came in to run the bases. Krueger advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third and then scored on another passed ball to tie the game at two.
Boyceville threatened to take the lead in the fifth when Brooklynn Blaser singled off Hall, stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball. But the Elmwood pitcher was able to retire the side when Kayla Nelson popped out to third and Rachal Anderson grounded out to the Welch.
Kegen held the Raiders in check over the next three innings and allowed just two batters to reach first – one on an error and the other a walk – but neither advanced any further.
The Bulldogs would score the game-winning run in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
Madysn Riel hit a walk-off single against Hall. She then stole second and came around to score on a pair of passed balls to give Boyceville a 3-2 win.
Lexi Peterson and Kayla Nelson each had a hit for the Bulldogs.
The Raiders’ Shelby Hall gave up all six Bulldogs’ hits and three walks and struck out four in suffering the loss.
Spring Valley has been a panacea for the other teams in the Dunn-St. Croix – playing the Cardinals seems to cure what ails you. After all, winless Spring Valley has lost five of its seven games by 10 runs or more.
And it was no different when Boyceville traveled to Spring Valley on Tuesday, April 21.
Boyceville roughed up Spring Valley pitching for 12 hits and 18 runs in a 18-8 Bulldogs’ rout.
Cardinal starter and losing pitcher Tessa Cipriano lasted just a third of an inning, surrendering eight runs on five walks and a pair of hits before giving way to Grace Larson.
Larson did exactly shut down the Bulldogs either. In her five and two-thirds innings on the mound, Larson walked eight and gave up ten hits and an equal number of runs.
Kayla Nelson stared on the mound for the Bulldogs and went three innings to get the victory. She gave up eight walks and five hits that resulted in seven Spring Valley runs. Katie Kegen relieved Nelson in the fourth inning and pitched the final three innings giving up just three hits and one run while striking out four.
Brooklynn Blaser led the Bulldogs’ hit parade going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate including a two-run homer in the first inning and finished with five RBIs. Madysn Riek and Peyton Hellmann both went 2-for-3 and Lexi Peterson was 2-for-4. Riek and Peterson both had a double among their hits.
Boyceville batted through its order in a 10-run, first inning. The Bulldogs took advantage of five walks and three hits highlighted by Blaser’s dinger on the second at bat. Peterson also doubled and Peyton Hellmann singled.
Spring Valley collected a pair of hits and runs in the bottom half of the first inning.
But Boyceville added five more runs in the top of the second on hits by Hellmann, Peterson and Blaser and three walks.
Trailing 15-2, the Cardinals batted through the order in the third and scored four times when Nelson gave up three walks and two hits and the Bulldogs’ defense committed three errors.
Boyceville got a run back in the fourth to hold a 16-7 lead.
Nelson’s day on the mound, however, came to an end in the bottom of the fourth after the first three Spring Valley hitters reached base and scored a run. Kegen came on and got the Cards to bounce into a double play and then line out to short.
Boyceville scored twice in the sixth for an 11-run lead.
When the Cardinals managed just a run in the bottom half, it wasn’t enough to force a seventh and final frame giving the Bulldogs an 18-8 win.
In last week’s Boyceville softball story it incorrectly stated that the Bulldogs game against Elk Mound was played on the Mounders’ home field. The game was actually hosted by Boyceville at Andy Pafko Memorial Park.
It also stated that the Bulldogs had held a 4-1 lead which was also incorrect. Elk Mound scored three times in the seventh inning to take a four to nothing advantage. Boyceville did score four runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning to tie the game and force extra innings.
The Mounders then scored three runs in the top half of the ninth and then held Boyceville scoreless in the bottom half of the frame to win 7-4.
The Tribune Press Reporter apologizes for the errors.