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By Amber Hayden
GLENWOOD CITY — It’s been a magical season thus far for the Glenwood City Lady Toppers as they took home wins over Cadott and Augusta last week to win the WIAA Division 4 regional championship.
Rain and high winds played a factor during the Tuesday, May 21 regional semifinal game against the Cadott Hornets, leaving many of the girls wet and fatigued as the game reached the seventh inning.
Three hits, two walks, an error and a batter plunked by a pitch allowed Glenwood City to score four, first-inning runs against Cadott. The Toppers’ tacked on a run in the bottom of the second to lead 5-0.
With the Dunn-St. Croix’s player of the year, Maggie Walling, pitching, a 5-run lead looked to be enough for the Toppers. But the pesky Lady Hornets scored three late runs including two in the sixth inning before Wallin was able to slam the door on the Cadott rally with five straight strike outs to preserve a 5-3 Hilltoppers’ win.
Two days later, on an overcast Thursday minus the rain, Glenwood City welcomed the Augusta Beavers to town for the May 23 regional championship game.
A single by Maggie Wallin followed by a home run by Delanie Fayerweather got it all started in the first inning for Glenwood City.
And the Hilltoppers never looked back.
Glenwood City feasted on Augusta pitching, tagging three Beaver pitchers for ten hits and an equal number of runs while Wallin dominated the opposition batters and allowed just a single hit, no runs and rang up 14 strike outs in leading the Hilltoppers to their fifth WIAA regional softball title and first since 2015 with the 10-0 whitewashing.
The victory, coming just a week and a half after Glenwood City made history by winning its first the Dunn-St. Croix conference championship, was the Toppers’ 17th straight and just their win total to a record-setting 21 games against just two defeats this season.
Maggie Wallin, who surpassed 500 career strike outs earlier this year, upped her 2019 season tally to 222 following the Augusta win, also a program record.
Glenwood City has a formidable task as they traveled to Thorp yesterday, Tuesday, May 28, for a rematch from the 2018 regional finals in which Glenwood City lost 7-6 to the Cardinals, who went on to finish as the D4 state runners-up. According to the Coach’s Poll on Wissports.net, Thorp is currently ranked #6 in the state Division 4 poll and Glenwood City is ranked #7 and when the teams were seeded for the WIAA D4 tournament, the Cardinals and Hilltoppers were seeded numbers one and two.
According to the WIAA website, Thorp made it to state in 2016 and 2018, in 2016 Thorp won the D4 state championship over Southwestern 9-2.
The winner will face the victor of the other semifinal game between state-ranked Grantsburg and Turtle Lake/Clayton in Thursday’s sectional championship in Shell Lake.
The weather decided not to play nice on Tuesday, May 21, in the first game for Glenwood City in the WIAA Division 4 Tournament when they faced the Cadott Hornets in the rain.
But the strength of Maggie Wallin in the circle and the rest of the Glenwood City defense they were able to hold on to the win 5-3 to move on to face #3 Augusta on Thursday evening, May 23.
The Lady Toppers made quick work of things in the first inning as they had two fly outs and a strikeout to head into the bottom of the inning.
“We started off with a bang with our first inning of offense taking advantage of some walks, hit batter and passed ball,” said head coach Matthew Schutz. “Good thing we did at that time because our offense went flat after that.”
Maddie Oehlke led things off for the Toppers getting a single and a stolen base. Maggie Wallin was hit by a pitch and gained first base. Delanie Fayerweather then drew a walk to load the bases for Kaitlin Lee. Lee reached first base on an error and earned an RBI when Oehlke scored.
Kassidi Thompson, courtesy runner for Wallin, Delanie Fayerweather and Kaitlin Lee all scored in the first inning as Logan Hoitomt walked and Ashlee Peterson had a hit.
Maddie Oehlke scored once again in the second inning after getting a single, before Toppers’ bat barrels went quiet for the next five innings.
“The defense and Maggie did a nice job of holding Cadott to just five hits,” Schutz explained. “But three of those hits came in one inning to give them two runs. Their first run was unearned in the fourth inning. We just need to be more disciplined at the plate.”
Maggie Wallin pitched all seven innings for Glenwood City, fighting the rain and what seemed to be fatigue that sat in she still had twelve strikeouts against the Hornets while walking three.
Delanie Fayerweather and Kaitlin Lee each earned an RBI for the Toppers and Maddie Oehlke led in hits with two in her four plate appearances.
GLENWOOD CITY 5, CADOTT 3
Glenwood City.………………4 1 0 0 0 0 X – 5
Cadott….………….….….…..0 0 0 1 0 2 0 – 3
Glenwood City (5) AB-H-R: Maddie Oehlke 4-2-2, Bella Lawson 3-1-0, Kaitlin Lee 3-0-1, Delanie Fayerweather 2-0-1, Maggie Wallin 3-0-0, Kassidi Thompson 0-0-1, Logan Hoitomt 2-0-0, Alexys Curvello 3-0-0, Ashlee Peterson 3-1-0, Kendall Schutz 3-1-0. Total 26-5-5.
Cadott (3) AB-H-R: O. Goodman 3-1-0, J. Sonnentag 4-0-0, C. Bremness 3-1-1, M. Barone 3-1-1, M. Barone 2-1-1, M. Whal 3-1-0, B. Bremness 3-0-0, A. Derks 3-0-0, M. Fasbender 3-0-0. Total 27-5-3.
Pitching: Glenwood City — Maggie Wallin 7 IP, 5 H, 12 K, 3 BB, 3 R (2 earned); Cadott — M. Barone 7 IP, 5 H, 9 K, 4 BB, 5 R (4 earned).
For Glenwood City, the quest for a regional championship has come to fruition as they took a 10-0 home victory over the Augusta Beavers on Thursday, May 23.
“I feel great, our regular season was 19-2 and when you get to into the playoffs we know anything can happen,” explained coach Schutz. “Everyone always has that little worry in the back of their head.”
It was all Maggie Wallin through six innings as she gave up just one hit while striking out 14 batters, but she wasn’t just hot on the mound. Wallin went two-of-two at the plate which included a single in the first inning to bring in teammate Maddie Oehlke.
Catcher Delanie Fayerweather was also on top of things as she hit a two-run home run in the first inning with Kassidi Thompson, courtesy runner, on base to give Glenwood City a 3-0 lead.
Thompson led the Toppers in runs with three and Fayerweather led in RBIs with three.
“Today they (Glenwood City) actually came to play offense,” Schutz said. “And Maggie definitely did a great job with only a one hitter on defense, and there were a few key plays in the field as well.”
Glenwood City collected ten hits and five walks off of three Beaver pitchers which included Camryn Grunewald, Hannah King and Ashlyn Kroger.
The Lady Toppers had hopes to end the game in the fifth inning with ten runs but fell just short as Kendall Schutz hit a ground ball back to Augusta’s pitcher who got the toss off to first base.
The game came to an end three batters in to the sixth inning as Bella Lawson hit a single to center field, followed by a single from Maddie Oehlke and a fielder’s choice by Kaitlin Lee.
Olivia Janson was brought in to run for Lawson and scored on Lee’s grounder to third base.
“Thorp has their pitcher back from state last year, we saw her last year in the regional final,” said Schutz. “We know with another year of experience she’s better than she was last year, and we know that they have hitters. We are going to have to play defense or Maggie is going to have to mix that ball up like she’s never mixed it up this year. We have to be ready for anything.”
GLENWOOD CITY 10, AUGUSTA 0
Glenwood City.………….……3 0 3 0 3 1 – 10
Augusta….….….……………..0 0 0 0 0 0 – 0
Glenwood City (5) AB-H-R: Maddie Oehlke 2-2-1, Bella Lawson 3-1-1, Kaitlin Lee 3-1-0, Delanie Fayerweather 3-2-2, Maggie Wallin 2-2-0, Kassidi Thompson 0-0-3, Logan Hoitomt 2-2-1, Alexys Curvello 3-1-0, Ashlee Peterson 3-0-0, Kendall Schutz 3-0-0, Olivia Janson 0-0-1. Total 23-10-10.
Augusta (0) AB-H-R: Ashlyn Korger 3-0-0, Brianna Krueger 2-0-0, Megan Kunz 2-0-0, Camryn Grunewald 2-0-0, Phoenyx Knuth 2-0-0, Chloe Jacobs 2-0-0, Clarisse TePaske 2-0-0, Bella Kewin 2-1-0, Hannah King 2-0-0. Total 19-1-0
Pitching: Glenwood City — Maggie Wallin 6 IP, 1 H, 14 K, 0 BB, 0 R; Augusta — Camryn Grunewald 2 IP, 4 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 3 R (3 earned), Hannah King 2 IP, 4 H, 2 K, 5 BB, 6 R (5 earned), Ashlyn Korger 1 IP, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 R (1 earned).