Fortune is fickle and seems to change quite quickly.
A week ago, the Boyceville softball team was mired in a slump that saw it lose four out of its last five games.
But the Lady Bulldogs turned things around this past week winning two of its three conference games.
It started with a 10-0 shut out over Spring Valley at home on Monday, May 11 and continued with a narrow 12-11 win in Elmwood Friday, May 15.
But Boyceville was denied a third consecutive triumph when it returned home for a contest against second-place Pepin/Alma on Monday, May 18. The Eagles nipped the Bulldogs 8 to 6 to snap the local two-game win streak.
Boyceville, with the two wins, moved into a fifth-place tie with Colfax and improved to 9-8 in the Dunn-St. Croix standings and 12-11 overall. The Bulldogs play in Plum City tomorrow (Thursday, May 21) and will return home to Pafko Memorial Park on Friday for a non-conference tilt against Somerset to wrap up the regular season. The WIAA regional will begin next Tuesday, May 26. Boyceville will play in Division 3 but its opponent has yet to be determined.
Pepin has long been a softball power and that has not changed with its sports collaboration with Alma.
The Pepin/Alma Eagles took the Dunn-St. Croix title last year and are currently locked into the runners-up position in this year’s race. So when they came to Boyceville Monday, May 18, it gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to measure themselves against the longstanding powerhouse.
The Bulldogs battled the Eagles throughout the seven-inning match up only to fall a few runs short in a 8-6 loss.
Both teams scored runs in five of the seven innings.
The Eagles, who never trailed, made a pair of sixth inning runs stand up for the win.
The teams combined for 20 hits – 11 by Pepin/Alma and nine credited to Boyceville. Both teams also left 11 runners on the bases.
Pepin/Alma scored a pair of runs in the first and second innings and Boyceville tallied a run in each of those innings and trailed 4-2.
The Eagles scored once in the third.
Kayla Nelson and Marissa Dormanen scored runs in the bottom of the third to pull the Bulldogs within a run at 5-4. Nelson walked and Dormanen and Katie Kegen both hit singles.
Pepin got a run back in the fourth without the aid of a hit.
Boyceville was posed for a big inning in the fifth when it loaded the bases with one out. But the Bulldogs scored just one run when Kayla Nelson singled and came around to score, making the score 6-5.
But Pepin/Alma got the insurance runs it need in the sixth. Brianna Jahnke led off with a double. Then three batters later, Katie Herold hit a two-run home run to give the Eagles an 8-5 advantage.
Boyceville got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Rachal Anderson singled home Lexi Peterson but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Pepin/Alma hurler Emily Kircher retired the Bulldogs in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the Eagles win.
Despite giving up seven walks and nine hits, Kircher earned the pitching victory while Boyce-ville’s Katie Kegen took the loss. Both pitched a complete game.
Marissa Dormanen had two hits for Boyceville.
Offense was the name of the game when Boyceville visited Elmwood Friday, May 15.
In a contest that had been postponed a day due to cold and rainy weather, the teams lit up the scoreboard and opposing pitching for a combined 30 hits and 23 runs.
Boyceville, who had 17 of those hits, rallied for four runs in the top half of the seventh inning to post a 12-11 win over Elmwood.
Down one to nothing, Boyce-ville came up with five runs in the second inning. Boyceville got singles from Kayla Nelson, Marki Lagerstrom and Brooklynn Blaser and a big double from Lexi Peterson to score the runs. The Bulldogs also used a pair of Raiders’ errors to lift its offense.
Undaunted, Elmwood scored six runs off of Boyceville starter Katie Kegen in its half of the second inning and three more in the third to take a 10-6 lead.
The Bulldogs, who scored singles runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings but still trailed 11-8, came up big in their final at bat.
With one out, Peyton Hellmann, Brooklynn Blaser, Lexi Peterson and Maddy Bygd had consecutive base hits. Rachal Anderson delivered a two run double that pushed the Bulldogs into the lead and onto victory.
Brooklynn Blaser, Kayla Nelson and Peyton Hellmann both went 3-for-5 from the plate while Lexi Peterson and Rachal Anderson had two hits each to account for 13 of the Bulldogs’ 17 hits.
Katie Kegen was the winner on the mound. Elmwood’s Shelby Hall was the loser.
Shut Out Cardinals
Katie Kegen pitched a no hitter, missing a perfect game by one walk, and the Bulldogs collected 13 hits to blank the winless Spring Valley Cardinals 10-0 in five innings at Andy Pafko Memorial Park last Tuesday, May 12.
Boyceville scored all but one of its runs in the first two innings – four in the first and five more in the second inning. The Bulldogs scored once in the fifth to bring the game to an end.
Kegen’s pitching line was nearly flawless with zero hits, zero runs and a pair of strikeouts and just a single walk.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs rocked Cardinals’ pitcher Grace Larson early in the contest.
Five Boyceville players had multiple hits led by Petyon Hellmann’s 3-for-4 performance. Brooklynn Blaser, Lexi Peterson, Maddy Bygd and Kayla Nelson each had two hits. Peterson and Bygd also had a double.