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It appears that the chase for this year’s Dunn-St. Croix softball championship will go down to the wire.
Elk Mound kept pace with fellow co-leader Mondovi winning three conference games last week including a two-game sweep of third-place Boyceville.
As of this past Friday, both Elk Mound and Mondovi are 11-1 in conference games. The Mounders are 13-3 overall. The two front runners split their games this season with the Mounders winning 3-2 at Mondovi on April 21 while the Buffaloes returned the favor four days later with a 7-1 victory in Elk Mound.
In what was suppose to be a doubleheader in Boyceville last Monday, May 9, until Mother Nature had other ideas, the Mounders blanked the Bulldogs 4-0 in game one and were ahead 3-1 in game two when a severe thunderstorm with high winds and heavy rains forced the suspension of play in the top of the fourth. The game was completed two days later with the Lady Mounders earning the sweep with a 5-1 victory.
The following day, Thursday, May 12, Elk Mound traveled to Glenwood City were it dispatched the Hilltoppers 18-1 in four innings.
Playing in its fourth contest of the week, Elk Mound hosted Menomonie in a non-conference tilt last Friday, May 13. It turned out to be an unlucky contest for the Mounders who fell 6-1 to the Mustangs.
Elk Mound played back-to-back games against rival Colfax to wrap up the regular season. The Vikings hosted Monday’s game while the Mounders welcomed the Vikings for Tuesday’s conference finale.
Regardless of how the conference race turns out, Elk Mound is guaranteed a third game against Mondovi, this one in the WIAA Division 3 tournament. The Mounders, who received a five seed, will have to travel to the Lady Buffaloes’ (fourth seed) home softball diamond next Tuesday, May 24 for a regional semifinal contest. The winner will likely have to travel to top seeded Prescott on Thursday, May 26 for the regional championship.
Boyceville – Game 1
Offense was at a premium when Elk Mound traveled to Boyceville last Monday, May 9 for a planned doubleheader.
While the Mounders had just four hits in the opening game, they took advantage of three Bulldog errors to plate four runs. As it turned out, that was more than enough runs as their senior pitching ace McKenna Diermeier threw a one-hit shut out while striking out 11 Bulldogs and walking none to the lead Elk Mound to the 4-0 win.
Diermeier also helped out her own cause at the plate. She led off the game by reaching base after being hit by a pitch and scored on Morgyn Hallum’s sacrifice to make it 1-0.
Diermeier then opened the top of the third with a double and scored. Elk Mound pushed two more runs home in that inning to make it 4-0.
That is all the Mounders needed as Diermeier retired nine of the next ten Boyceville batters including five by strike outs to earned the win. She also tallied three stolen bags.
Issie Hollister, Chloe Dummer, and Lauren Garnett had Elk Mound’s other three hits. Dummer finished with two RBIs.
Boyceville – Game 2
Playing as the home team, Elk Mound scored a run in the bottom of the first. And after Boyceville knotted the contest at one all with a score of its own in the top of the third, the Mounders responded with a pair in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-1 advantage before a dangerous thunderstorm moved through the area causing play to be suspended.
The two squads resumed the game in Elk Mound Wednesday afternoon, May 11.
The Mounder added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and then held the Bulldogs scoreless in the top of the fifth to claim the 5-1 win.
Diermeier again picked up the win as she allowed just a pair of hits for one run, struck out 13 Boyceville batters and walked three in five inning of work from inside the pitching circle.
While both teams had an error, Elk Mound out slugged Boyceville seven to two.
Diermeier and Morgyn Hallum each had a pair of hits for the Lady Mounders. Diermeier scored three runs and stole a pair of bases while Hallum was credited with four RBIs. Also garnering singles for Elk Mound were Hannah Larson, Issie Hollister, and Lauren Garnett.
Elk Mound scored early and often when they visited winless Glenwood City Thursday, May 12.
The Mounders pounded out a dozen hits off Hilltopper pitching including a pair of extra base hits by McKenna Diermeier and took advantage of seven Glenwood City errors to coast to an 18-1 victory in four innings.
Elk Mound plated four runs in the first, second and third innings and tacked on a half dozen more in the fourth to claim the 17-run victory. Like the ten-run rule after five innings, games in which one team leads the other by 15 or more runs are called complete after four innings.
Hailey Meyer pitched all four innings for Elk Mound to pick up the win. She struck out five, walked one and allowed just one run on a pair of hits.
Five Mounders finished with two hits led by McKenna Diermeier who had a double and a trip, walked three times and scored four runs. Issie Hollister, Ellie Schiszik and Hannah Larson all finished 2-for-4 at the plate while Chloe Dummer was 2-for-3 and Kallee Rhude was 1-for-3. Hallum, Hollister, Schiszik and Rhude each scored three runs. Larson and Dummer also had four RBIs apiece.
After a scoreless first inning, the host Mounders took a 1-0 lead on a run in the bottom of the second in a non-conference game against Menomonie last Friday, May 13.
The Mustangs, however, got all six of their runs in the top of the third.
Neither team was able to push a run across home plate over the final four innings, giving Menomonie the 6-1 victory.
The Mustangs outhit the Mounders, who had three errors, seven to three.
McKenna Diermeier took the loss as she allowed all seven Mustangs hits for six runs while striking out seven and walking three in seven innings of work.
Issie Hollister finished with two of the Mounders’ three hits – Diermeier had the other, a triple – and scored their only run.