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GLENWOOD CITY — In a battle of state-ranked softball teams, Glenwood City rallied from an early six-run deficit to defeat Grantsburg 16-6 last Thursday in a six-inning, regular season contest that was scheduled at the last minute after both teams received an opening-round bye in the WIAA Division 4 playoffs.
The Lady Pirates (16-5), ranked fifth in the fifth state coaches poll, scored six, first-inning runs off Glenwood City’s Kendall Schutz who started inside the pitching circle.
Trailing by half a dozen runs with just a half an inning of softball played, head coach Matthew Schutz made the decision to replace his daughter with the team’s senior pitching ace, Maddie Oehlke, who promptly shut down Grantsburg the rest of the way, allowing only one hit and no runs in her five innings in the circle.
“After falling behind 6-0 in the first inning we had to replace Kendall as they banged five hits off of her from the start,” said Coach Schutz.
Meanwhile, Glenwood City’s offense was primed from the start collecting 18 hits and eventually scoring 16 runs to turn a sizable deficit into a rout.
Trailing 6-0 did not phase the Toppers’ offense said Schutz.
“We came out hitting right off the bat in that first inning and never stopped,” Schutz said.
Glenwood City, who moved up to number three in that final Division 4 state coaches poll, got a pair of runs back in their half of the first inning on back-to-back RBI doubles from Maddie Oehlke and Delanie Fayerweather.
The Hilltoppers then tied the contest in the bottom of the second with four runs. Morgan Johnson led off with a single before Ryeah Oehlke drew a two-out walk. Kendall Schutz then delivered and RBI single to score Johnson, Maddie Oehlke walked to load the bases, Delanie Fayerweather followed with an RBI walk before Alex Peterson punched a double to bring Schutz and Maddie Oehlke home with the tying runs.
A four-hit third which included back-to-back run-scoring doubles off the bats of Ryeah O. and Schutz gave Glenwood City its first lead at 9-6.
The Hilltoppers tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth but brought the game to an early end in the bottom of the sixth with five runs for the 16-6 win. In that inning, Ryeah Oehlke led off with a single and scored on a sacrifice by Schutz, Maddie Oehlke walked, Fayerweather singled, and Alex Peterson walked to load the bases. Michaela Blaser and Morgan Johnson had consecutive RBI singles to score Maddie Oehlke and Fayerweather, and then Aubree Logghe delivered with a single to drive home both Peterson and Blaser with the game-ending runs in the 16-6 win.
In all, the Hilltoppers had six players with multiple hits. Ryeah Oehlke went 3-for-3 with an RBI and four runs scored, Kendall Schutz finished 3-for-5 including a double for five RBIs and scored two runs. Morgan Johnson was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run, Maddie Oehlke and Fayerweather each finished with a pair of hits including a double. Aubree Logghe registered two hits in five plate appearances with two RBIs and a run scored, while Peterson hit a double that scored a pair. In addition, Blaser and Avery Rubenzer each had a hit.
Maddie Oehlke went five innings in relief to earn the pitching victory allowing just one hit and striking out six with no walks.
Grantsburg finished with just six hits.