By Samuel Ripp
ELK MOUND — Good things come to those who wait.
And after waiting an entire year to get to back to the regional championship game, the Elk Mound softball team had to wait an extra day to celebrate.
The Mounders, who endured a pair of rain-induced playoff postponements including its championship game against Boyceville, had to overcome an early deficit and then held back a late Bulldog rally to finally claim its coveted WIAA Division 3 Regional title.
No matter the circumstances, the Mounders were not going to be denied this year.
Elk Mound avenged last year’s 2-1 regional final setback to Bloomer as it held off Boyceville the past Saturday morning, May 28 to claim the title with a thrilling 9-7 victory.
The title game had originally been scheduled to be played on Friday afternoon, but rain washed out those plans like it had in the Mounders’ May 25 semifinal contest against Osseo-Fairchild, which Elk Mound won 15-0 in three innings the very next day.
The win pushed Elk Mound’s season mark to 23-5 and earned them a spot in the sectional tournament. The Mounders were scheduled to play Eau Claire Regis yesterday (May 31) in Durand, A win would put them in Thursday’s sectional final at Eau Claire Memorial with a state berth at stake.
The game started with two quick outs on Boyceville, but then a single kept the inning alive.
The next Boyceville batter was Madysn Riek, who cranked a two run home run over the left field wall for the early lead.
The Lady Bulldogs added another run to their lead in the second inning.
The Lady Mounders broke into the scoring column in the bottom half of the inning when sophomore Allison Lindquist came around to score.
Boyceville began to take control of the game and enjoyed it’s largest lead of the game in the third after plating two more runs for a 5-1 lead.
The deficit did not rattled Elk Mound who pushed four runs across in the bottom half to tie the game up.
The Lady Mounders fell silent until the sixth inning when they tacked on four runs, all with two outs, thanks to a couple of Boyceville errors. The big blow was delivered by Allison Lindquist’s two-run double.
Boyceville did not go away easy as they scored two runs in the seventh and had the tying run on first base. But senior Abbey Olsen slammed the door on the Bulldogs’ comeback by catching a pop-up for the final out of the game.
Olsen pitched the entire game and allowed seven runs with six earned on seven hits. She walked two Boyceville batters and struck out six in the morning contest. Olsen, who was roughed up early, settled in and earned the win.
Olsen was not worried about bouncing back from the rocky start.
“My mom always told me since I was little you have to keep a straight face through everything, you just have to keep your cool and I’ve gotten pretty good at that,” said Olsen after the win.
Elk Mound was able to knock out six hits in the game as it collecting hits from junior Lauren Scharlau with a double, Abbey Olsen and Allison Lindquist with three including a double and a triple and junior Emily Ausman.
Only four of the Mounders ‘ nine runs came from an RBI. Adding to their season total was Lindquist with three and senior Jade Sorenson with one.
Head Coach Dylan Pronschinske was not worried how his team would react after being in an early hole.
“We were able to keep our composure, our girls do a good job of calming each other down and keeping each other relaxed,” said Pronschinske after the win.
Pronschinske is looking for the same attitude from his team as they take on their next opponent and to keep their heads in the game.
“I want us to come out focused and come out aggressive at the plate and play a clean game in the field,” said Pronschinske as they look forward to Regis.
Elk Mound took care of business as it opened regional play, a day late due to rain, with a 15-0 home win over Osseo-
Fairchild in Thursday’s WIAA Division 3 regional semifinal contest.
The game had been delayed by a day due to thunderstorms on Wednesday.
Elk Mound took this game to its conclusion very quickly as it had the bats rolling and shut down pitching in the shortened game.
The Lady Mounders started out the bottom of the first by scoring four runs and followed the first inning by scoring three more runs in the second.
Osseo-Fairchild had no answer for the Elk Mound bats as they ended the game in the third inning by scoring eight more runs for the 15-run tournament rule in three innings.
Elk Mound was senior Abbey Olsen did not have much trouble against the Thunder. She threw a one-hitter over three innings and struck out four.
The Lady Mounders tallied nine hits and drew three walks over the course of the game. Elk Mound got hits from sophomore Madysen Borofka, junior Karie Jo Nigon with a double, junior Lauren Scharlau with a triple, Abbey Olsen with a double, sophomore Allison Lindquist with a double, freshman Abby Curry, senior Jade Sorenson with a double, and junior Emily Ausman with two hits.
Borofka, Curry and Lindquist each had two RBI, Nigon, Scharlau, Olsen, Sorenson, and Ausman each had one.