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Bulldogs earn softball sweep of Toppers with another one-run win

BOYCEVILLE — It looked as if Boyceville was on its way to a shut out win over rival Glenwood City when the teams met at Andy Pafko Memorial Park last Tuesday, April 28 in the finale of their regular season, home-and-home softball series.

Bulldogs’ pitcher Katie Kegen had vexed the Toppers’ hitters for much of the game, surrendering just two hits and no runs through five complete innings.

Meanwhile, Boyceville’s offense had come up with timely hits with runners in scoring position and plated three runs in the third and two more in the fifth to hold a five to nothing advantage over Glenwood City.

But things would get very interesting in the last two innings.

The Hilltoppers’ bats finally came to life in the top half of the sixth inning.

That is when Glenwood City tagged Kegen for three hits and as many runs highlighted by Leslie Ludtke’s two-RBI double.

Then in the Toppers’ seventh, Mikaela Voeltz belted a one out triple and then scored to pull Glenwood City to within a run at 5-4.

But Kegen slammed the door on the Toppers’ rally when she got her counterpart, Leslie Ludtke, to pop out to second base to end the game and preserve the Bulldogs’ one run win.

It was the second time this season that Boyceville had trumped  Glenwood City by a single run, giving the Bulldogs the regular season sweep. The Bulldogs had already bested the Toppers 7-6 in Glenwood City on April 7.

The Bulldogs broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning as it used three hits to score three runs.

Peyton Hellmann started the inning by singling with one out.

Lexi Peterson’s sacrifice hit moved Hellmann to second.

Brooklynn Blaser got a base hit that brought Hellmann home with the Bulldogs’ first run.

Kayla Nelson then followed with an RBI triple off Toppers’ starter Leslie Ludtke that scored Blaser.

A Toppers’ error then allowed Nelson to score for a 3-0 Boyce-ville lead.

The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in their half of the fifth.

Peyton Hellman again got the inning going with a single.

Ludtke was able to retire the next two Boyceville batters but was not able to get out of the inning unscathed.

Kayla Nelson, Rachal Anderson and Maddy Bygd registered consecutive hits as both Hellmann and then Nelson scored to give Boyceville a 5-0 advantage.

But in the top half of the very next inning – the sixth – Glenwood City’s offense finally awoke.

Mikaela Voeltz was issued a lead-off walk which was followed by a Natalie Gabbert single.

With two runners on and no one out, Leslie Ludtke stepped to the plate and hit a solid double that scored both Voeltz and Gabbert.

Nikki Gabbert’s singled to drive home Ludtke with the Toppers’ third run.

Glenwood City was primed to add more runs until back-to-back put outs on fielders’ choices and an infield pop out brought an abrupt end to the Toppers’ inning.

Leslie Ludtke sat the Bulldogs down in order in their half of the sixth to keep it a two-run game heading into the seventh and final inning of regulation.

It appeared Kegen would escape without giving up another run as she retired the first two Toppers’ batters she faced in the seventh.

But with two outs, Mikaela Voeltz smacked a triple to right field.

Natalie Gabbert reached first on a Boyceville error which also allowed Voeltz to score from third base and cut the Toppers’ deficit to just one run.

Kegen, however, was able to get Leslie Ludtke to pop out to second to end the threat and game.

Katie Kegen earned the complete game win while Leslie Ludtke took the loss for the Toppers despite striking out seven and not surrendering a walk.

Boyceville outhit Glenwood City nine to six. The Toppers stranded six runners to the Bulldogs’ four. Kayla Nelson had a pair of hits for the Bulldogs as did Nikki Gabbert for the Toppers.

The win was the Bulldogs third straight. Boyceville stretched that streak to five with victories over Plum City and St. Croix Central and is currently 7-4 in the Dunn-St. Croix and 9-6 overall.

After the loss to the Bulldogs, Glenwood City scored wins against St. Croix Central and Colfax to improve to 6-4 and 6-5.

Stories on Boyceville’s and Glenwood City’s other games can be found elsewhere in this issue.