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Lady Mounders fall one game short of state with loss to Grantsburg

by Samuel Ripp

The Elk Mound softball team cruised through the playoffs and into Sectionals to face Regis. The flew by Regis with a 15-2 win to get to the Sectional Finals which was played at Carson Park in Eau Claire. They went up against a really tough Grantsburg team and nerves got the best of the girls in the first inning to go down 6-0 very quickly. They could not rebound from that and lost the game 9-3 falling one game short of State.

Regis

The Elk Mound softball team was in action on Wednesday, June 1 to take on Regis in the Sectional Round at Durand. The Lady Mounders would win by a score of 15-2 in six innings.

On the hill for Elk Mound was senior Abbey Olsen. Olsen pitched a complete game, only giving up two runs on six hits. Olsen did not walk any batter and struck out three on the afternoon.

Elk Mound would find themselves in another early 2 run hole as Regis started the game off with a bang to take the early lead. Elk Mound did not panic like last game and took one run back in the bottom of the inning. The Lady Mounders would take the lead for good in the second inning by pushing two more girls across the plate. Elk Mound would continue to pour on the runs as they hung up a crooked number in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. They scored four in the fourth followed by three more in the fifth. They would end the game early in the sixth by scoring five runs to make it a twelve run gap.

Elk Mound was able to bust out twelve hits on the afternoon and collect three walks. Collecting hits on the afternoon included: sophomore Madysen Borofka, junior Karie Jo Nigon with three including a double and a home run, junior Lauren Scharlau with two, Abbey Olsen with three, sophomore Allison Lindquist, and junior Emily Ausman with two.

With the twelve hits on the afternoon, the Lady Mounders were able to tally thirteen RBIs. Adding to their season total included: Borofka, Nigon with seven, Scharlau with two, and Ausman with three.

Emily Ausman and Abbey Olsen also showed off their wheels in the game with both stealing a base on the afternoon.

With the win the Lady Mounders lived to see another day and crept one step closer to their ultimate goal. They took on Grantsburg on Thursday, June 2 at Carson Park.

Grantsburg

The Elk Mound softball team was in action on Thursday, June 2 at Carson Park in Eau Claire to take on Grantsburg in the Sectional Finals. The winner would earn a trip to State. The Lady Mounders would come up short in a 9-3 loss.

On the mound for her last game in an Elk Mound uniform was senior Abbey Olsen. Olsen threw the complete game giving up nine runs with only two being earned on ten hits. Olsen also walked one and struck out six on the afternoon.

The Lady Pirates would jump out to a huge lead early in the game by scoring six in the top half of the first inning. Elk Mound had the jitters early as they committed a few errors in the inning that led to most of the runs. The Lady Mounders totaled five errors on the afternoon that did not help their cause. Elk Mound had a chance to snag a run back in the bottom of the first but was thrown out at home plate trying to score. Grantsburg would add two more in the fifth and one in the sixth to go up nine runs. The Lady Mounders finally cracked the scoring column by pushing three girls across the plate to make the game a little more interesting. The Lady Pirates would stop them there and move on to the State tournament.

Elk Mound was only able to knock out four hits in the game and drew three walks. Collecting hits in their final game of the season included: Abbey Olsen, sophomore Allison Lindquist with two including a triple, and junior Emily Ausman.

All of the runs the Lady Mounders were able to score came from RBIs and adding to their season total in the final game was Lindquist with two and Ausman with the other.

Despite the loss and being ever so close to State, the Lady Mounders had a great year. They finished the season with a 24-6 overall record and won their conference while going undefeated to claim the title. Elk Mound will return a lot of their players and look to see if they can return to the Sectional Finals next season.

Head Coach Dylan Pronschinske knew he was going up against a tough opponent with a lot of experience in Sectionals compared to his team that had no experience at Sectionals.

“That first inning jitters was just the experience that we didn’t have, our girls have made those plays a hundred times throughout the year, our girls were just a little nervous to start,” stated Pronschinske after the loss.

With the team advancing to the Sectional Final this year and going undefeated in conference play, that puts Elk Mound on every team’s radar.

“The expectations are going to be there now; we make it to a Sectional Finals the expectations are going to be there and they should expect them out of themselves,” said Pronschinske about how his team is going to be looked at heading into next year.