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By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY — For the first time in school history, the Glenwood City girls’ softball players can call themselves Dunn-St. Croix Champions!
Glenwood City capped a magical conference and regular season with a 12-2, five-inning victory over rival Boyceville last Monday, May 13.
That win coupled with Elk Mound’s 5-1 lost to Pepin/Alma that same day gave the Hilltoppers sole ownership of the 2019 Dunn-St. Croix softball championship. Glenwood City finished with a 15-1 conference record and heads into the playoffs with a sterling 19-2 regular season mark following a dramatic 3-2 non-conference win over Turtle Lake/Clayton on senior Maggie Wallin’s walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the seventh.
“It hasn’t sunk in,” said Toppers head coach Matthew Schutz of the conference championship. “I’m so proud of this group, much with little varsity experience prior to this season, for stepping up all season and keeping this BIG goal at the forefront of their minds. Never wavering away from it, taking on each team, game after game even when they struggled to hit and score.”
All-world Toppers’ pitcher Maggie Wallin, as she has done so many times this season, dominated from the get go as she struck out seven of the first nine Boyceville hitters. Wallin threw all five innings for Glenwood City and finished with 15 strikeouts and two walks. With the added strikeouts, Wallin finished the regular season for the Toppers with a record 222 strikeouts.
“Maggie couldn’t do it all, she can’t score the runs,” said Schutz. “It is just amazing to take a team that wasn’t studly at all, and get them to believe that they could be champions is just amazing.”
Of course, those unsung heroes backed up their senior pitcher against the rival Bulldogs.
Glenwood City scored three runs in its first at bat and added six more runs in the second to lead 9-0.
Maddie Oehlke started things off for the Toppers as she was walked on base in the first inning and watched as teammates Bella Lawson, Maggie Wallin and Delanie Fayerweather all came up to bat.
Fayerweather hit a single which allowed Oehlke to score and once again the bases were loaded for the Toppers.
Boyceville’s Hannah Johnson worked her way around the circle throwing every pitch she could manage against a patient Glenwood City team. Johnson surrendered the pitching duties to Ella Holden in the third inning and between the pair gave up eight hits and nine walks.
It was a big second inning for the Toppers as they had six runs and made their way through the lineup once.
Anna Brigham, Maddie Oehlke, and Bella Lawson were all walked on base to load the bases for Maggie Wallin. Wallin hit in a single in between center and right field and reached on a fielder’s choice earning herself two RBIs.
“We got roughed up in our first game against Prescott and we were trying to figure out our short stop,” Schutz explained. “But they were willing to move, willing to change and take on the challenge. It’s just amazing how they persevered.”
The Lady Bulldogs would finally get on the board in the top of the third inning after Jaida Peterson hit a single followed by a double by Amber Retzloff.
Hannah Johnson came to the plate and was able to time pitches perfectly from Maggie Wallin and hit a single, but the speed of Peterson and Retzloff paid off as the Bulldogs put two runs up on the board.
The Hilltoppers answered back in the next two innings as they scored three more runs from Maddie Oehlke, Maggie Wallin and Ashlee Peterson.
“It was a long road, but I am so glad I kept with it,” said coach Schutz. “A lot of coaches, they would of maybe been done because they couldn’t get what they want.”
This was an extra special moment as well for the Glenwood City’s head coach, Schutz explained, not only is it his first conference title with the softball team but he was able to earn it with his daughter Kendall Schutz who plays both infield and the outfield for the Toppers.
Glenwood City began their WIAA Division 4 tournament run yesterday, Tuesday, May 21, against #7 Cadott. Boyceville also opened their tournament on Tuesday with a game in Augusta. If the Toppers beat Cadott, they would host the winner of the Boyceville-Augusta game this Thursday, May 23 with a regional title on the line.
GLENWOOD CITY 12, BOYCEVILLE 2
Glenwood City.….…..…3 6 2 1 0 – 12
Boyceville….….….…………0 0 2 0 0 – 2
Glenwood City (12) AB-H-R: Maddie Oehlke 0-0-3, Bella Lawson 1-1-2, Kaitlin Lee 1-1-1, Delanie Fayerweather 3-3-2, Maggie Wallin 1-1-2, Logan Hoitomt 1-1-0, Anna Brigham 2-0-1, Ashlee Peterson 2-2-1, Kendall Schutz 0-0-1. Total 11-8-12.
Boyceville (2) AB-H-R:
Jaida Peterson 3-1-1, Amber Retzloff 2-2-1, Hannah Johnson 3-1-0, Ella Holden 2-0-0, Libby Bygd 2-0-0, Jensine Boesl 1-0-0, Emma Ouellette 2-0-0, Alyx Bloom 2-0-0, Harper Olson 2-0-0. Total 19-4-2.
Pitching: Glenwood City — Maggie Wallin 5 IP, 4 H, 15 K, 2 BB, 2 R (2 earned); Boyceville — Hannah Johnson 2 IP, 4 H, 1 K, 6 BB, 9 R (7 earned), Ella Holden 2 IP, 4 H, 1 K, 3 BB, 3 R (3 earned).