By Cara L. Dempski
ELK MOUND — The Mounder softball team opened its 2017 season with a pair of home games that left its head coach pleased with the effort, even if she was not happy with some of the little details.
Head coach Sam Weix saw a lot of good things in her squad’s match-up against area powerhouse Baldwin-Woodville on March 28. While the Mounders dropped the game 3-2, she was pleased with the defensive and offensive efforts she saw in the season opener.
Elk Mound then welcomed the Chetek-Weyerhaeuser Bulldogs to its field on March 30. The Friday game was a bit more to Coach Weix’s liking, as the Mounders pulled off a 15-3 win over the Bulldogs to give the team some momentum heading into its second week.
The Mounders have a 1-1 record after their first week of play.
Weix and her Mounder girls hosted Black River Falls April 4 before welcoming Elmwood’s Raiders April 6. They hit the road for their first away game April 10 at Alma.
If Coach Weix could have made one change to the Mounders’ March 28 season-opening match-up against the Blackhawks, it would have been to record a W in her team’s win-loss column.
“The only thing that could have made me happier last night would have been to come away with the win,” Weix said. “I’m extremely proud of how the team played. We knew Baldwin-Woodville was going to be tough, but the girls came ready to compete.”
Freshman Clare Hallum pitched all seven innings for her varsity debut. The hurler gave up five hits and three runs, but picked up an ERA of 1.00. Weix was proud of her pitcher, who did exactly what she needed to by getting ground balls and letting her defenders play behind her.
The Elk Mound coach knows her pitchers are not going to speed the ball past batters, but they are going to get hitters to ground out and fly out, and that is precisely what the Mounders demonstrated against the Hawks.
Offensively, the Mounders logged eight hits in the game, scoring one run in the third and another in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Madysen Borofka crossed home plate in the third after a late-inning hit off the bat of Allison Lindquist. The junior pushed Morgan Radtke all the way home with a floater to left field that gave Elk Mound its only other run of the night.
The Mounders’ recording hits against Baldwin-Woodville were Borofka (1), Hallum (2), Lindquist (2), Radtke (1) and Emily Ausman (1). Radkte and Hallum led the team with tying .667 on-base percentages.
The Blackhawks’ three runs came from the bottom of their rotation and their lead-off batter. Senior Hannah Phelps tripped across the plate on a double off the bat of sophomore Brooke Evenson, who cranked the ball into the alley between center and right field. Evenson then crossed the plate after Alexis Mauer drove the ball past the shortstop for a double.
Weix noted the Mounders got on base each inning, and often got those runners to scoring position.
“We’ll need to be able to execute when we do have scoring opportunities, but against a strong pitcher, it was nice to see the girls put the ball in play and get on base,” the Elk Mound coach finished.
BALDWIN-WOODVILLE 3, ELK MOUND 2
Baldwin-Woodville…..0 0 0 0 3 0 0 — 3
Elk Mound……………..0 0 1 0 0 0 1 — 2
Elk Mound may have gotten off to a slow start in its March 31 home game against Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, but the Mounders were not going to let the Bulldogs’ three-run race out of the gate get the better of them.
Instead, the Mounders made short work of their non-conference foe, pushing for 15 runs to end the game in five innings.
“A win is great, and it’s especially nice to get one under your belt early on,” head coach Sam Weix noted. “However, the girls know down the stretch it may be difficult to recover from giving up three early runs.”
Senior pitcher Karie Jo Nigon was able to settle into the circle and kept the Bulldogs scoreless after the first inning, but the team knows competition will be stronger as the season progresses.
“We need to be on our ‘A game’ from the first pitch to the last,” Weix indicated.
Nigon recorded a 0.00 ERA from the mound, and drove in five runs from the plate to lead the team statistically. Madysen Borofka, Clare Hallum, Sophie Cedarblade, Lauren Scharlau, Haley Blaskowski, Allison Lindquist, Qwynn Tyman and Emily Ausman also provided RBIs in the match-up.
Chetek-Weyerhaeuser’s Taitelynn Haas provided the Bulldogs’ lone RBI when she drove in Krista Law and Rhianna Houston.
CHETEK-WEYERHAEUSER 3, ELK MOUND 15
Chetek-Weyerhaeuser……3 0 0 0 0 — 3
Elk Mound…………………13 0 1 1 0 — 15