By Cara L. Dempski
The Lady Bulldogs softball team suffered a pair of agonizingly-close conference losses last week.
Boyceville was unable to carry the momentum of a pair of wins at its April 8th home tournament as it fell 8-3 on the road to Mondovi on April 11 and at home two days later to conference front-runner Elk Mound by a score of 7-4.
In both contests, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves down early and could never quite recover.
[emember_protected] Last Tuesday in Mondovi, Boyceville found itself trailing 3-0 before it finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth with a single run, only to watch the Lady Buffs plate five runs in the bottom half and go on to an 8-3 win.
Boyceville returned to the friendly confines of Pafko Memorial Park April 13 to welcome the Elk Mound girls. But once again, the Lady Bulldogs found themselves in an early hole, trailing 6-2 after two innings of play, and never recover losing 7-4 to the Mounders.
The Bulldogs, who fell to 0-3 in the Dunn-St. Croix and 3-4 overall, traveled to Spring Valley yesterday (April 18) and will return to Pafko to host Elmwood Thursday and rival Glenwood City the following Tuesday, April 25.
An early scoring opportunity for Boyceville went for naught.
Senior slugger Morgan Kuhn opened the Bulldogs’ April 11 match-up at Mondovi with a double, but then Amber Retzloff and Madysn Riek both drilled balls to left field, which were caught, and McKenna Weber struck out at the plate to end the Bulldog threat.
The contest remained scoreless until the Buffaloes scored twice in the bottom half of the second, and then added another score in the third for a 3-0 advantage.
Boyceville finally got on the board in the fifth when Taylor Grambow led off with a walk, advanced all the way to third on a pair of ground outs and scored on a passed ball.
But in the bottom half of that inning, Mondovi delivered a knock out punch scoring five times with the aid of three singles in its first four atbats and a Bulldogs’ error.
The Lady Bulldogs tried to rally in their final offensive effort in the seventh. With one out, Tyra Kostman reached on an error and moved to second on Taylor Grambow’s ground out.
Morgan Kuhn knocked a single to center to put runners on the corner for Boyceville. Kuhn stole second before Amber Retzloff spanked a double to deep center field to bring home both Kostman and Kuhn to make it 8-3.
But Mondovi hurler Paige Platter got Boyceville slugging senior Madysn Riek to fly out to left to end the game.
Platter went all seven frames to get the win for the Buffaloes, surrendering just two hits and five walks and a trio of runs while striking out seven.
Platter’s Boyceville counterpart freshman Tyra Kostman took the loss after going four and two-thirds inning and giving up all eight Mondovi hits and runs while striking out six and walking four. Alyx Bloom took over for the final one and one-third inning and pitched a pair of strikeouts.
The seventh-inning hits by Kuhn and Retzloff were Boyceville’s only hits in the game.
BOYCEVILLE 3, MONDOVI 8
Boyceville…………….0 0 0 0 1 0 2 — 3
Mondovi………………0 2 1 0 5 0 0 — 8
Everyone watching knew Elk Mound catcher Allison Lindquist did not mean to slam a line drive right into Tyra Kostman’s shin, but that did not make the moment any less scary.
Boyceville’s freshman hurler went to the ground almost the instant the ball struck her during the April 13 game, and it took a few minutes for her to get back on her feet. When she did, Kostman left the field on her own power with only minimal assistance from her mother and head coach Jamie Olson.
Alyx Bloom took over the mound duties for Kostman in the final two innings with the Mounders holding a 6-2 lead.
Apparently the hit gave the Lady Bulldogs new life, as the offense scored two more runs in the sixth to narrow the gap between them and Elk Mound to just 6-4.
Things got even more interesting in the seventh when Elk Mound’s Morgan Radtke slapped a two-out, solo home run over the center field fence to make the score 7-4.
The bottom half of the seventh was tense when the Bulldogs loaded the bases with just one out.
But Elk Mound closer Karie Jo Nigon relieved starter Clare Hallum and registered the final two outs for the save as she got McKenna Weber to hit into a fielder’s choice and struck out Tori Kostman to end the game and dish Boyceville the loss.
Amber Retzloff and Kayla Hoff put the Boyceville girls on the board in the bottom half of the first with a pair of runs, but the Bulldogs would not score again until the sixth, when Marissa Dormanen, who led off with a single, and Kostman crossed the plate to make the score 6-4.
Boyceville once again had trouble getting the bats going as it was out hit by Elk Mound 11 to 5 with Marissa Dormanen collecting three hits and a pair of RBI. Kayla Hoff (double) and Madysn Riek had the other two Bulldog hits.
Tyra Kostman pitched five innings to take the loss and allowed four runs, while striking out a pair of Mounders. Alyx Bloom took over for Kostman in the circle for the sixth and seventh, and threw eight pitches, striking out one batter.
ELK MOUND 7, BOYCEVILLE 4
Elk Mound……………4 2 0 0 0 0 1 — 7
Boyceville…………….2 0 0 0 0 2 0 — 4 [/emember_protected]