Colfax and Elk Mound softball teams split games to end the week
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by Marlys Kruger
Playing in back-to-back games last Thursday and Friday, May 11 and 12, the Colfax Vikings and Elk Mound Mounders softball teams both won a game.
The Mounders took the first one 4-2 on their home field, and the Vikings accomplished something they hadn’t done since the 2014 season, and that was to beat the Mounders 6-1 in Colfax.
Colfax (8-5, 1-5) hosted Elmwood-Plum City Monday and travels to Shell Lake Thursday to conclude the regular season. Meanwhile, Elk Mound (11-2, 12-2) finishes with three home games this week. The Mounders faced conference champ Mondovi Monday and finish off the regular season with non-conference games against Fall Creek on Tuesday and Bloomer this Thursday.
Both the Vikings and Mounders received first-round byes in the WIAA tournament and will host regional semifinal games next Tuesday, May 23
In the low scoring contest in Elk Mound, Mounder hurler Hailey Meyer held the Vikings to just five hits, striking out seven batters and walking none.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when Elk Mound scored a run, but the Vikings went up 2-1 in the top of the fourth.
The Vikings scored their runs when Ella Peterson singled, Jada Anderson doubled, Brynn Sikora brought Peterson in on a fielder’s choice and Anderson came in on a wild pitch.
The lead didn’t last long as the Mounders scored three times in their half of the inning and the Colfax bats were stifled the rest of the way. Mounder center fielder Lauren Garnett snared a solid shot off the bat of Sikora to help preserve the win.
Colfax pitcher Mallory Field also settled in and kept the Mounders scoreless the last two innings. In six innings, Field gave up seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Anderson and Peterson were both 2-for-3 at the plate with both scoring a run.
The Mounders started the contest like the previous game, scoring a single run in the top of the first. Ellie Schiszik singled on a ball over shortstop Andersons head, then stole second base. Back-to-back ground balls to Anderson produced outs but Schiszik scored on the second one. Viking third baseman Sikora fielded a ground ball for the third out.
Once again the Vikings responded. McKenna Shipman led off by beating out a bunt, moving up on a passed ball, stealing third and coming in on Anderson’s single. With one out, Meyer whiffed the next two Vikings to end the inning.
With one out in the top of the second, Alexis Joachim drew a walk and moved up on a bunt for an out, but a ground ball to second base ended any threat by the Mounders, Meyer struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the second and after giving up a single to Alexis Schindler, forced a ground out to leave her stranded.
Elk Mound threatened to add runs in the top of the third when Schiszik drew a one-out walk, moved up on an Ellie Beskow base hit and when they advanced to second and third, it was Viking hurler Field’s turn to strut her stuff as she struck out the next two batters.
The Viking offense finally put things all together in the bottom of the third which ended up being disastrous for the Mounders. Shipman was hit by a pitch to
start things off, and after a pop up out on a bunt attempt, Anderson sliced a double down the third base line for an RBI. Another pop up to third base was out number two, but sometimes that third out is the hardest to get. Hannah Peterson set down a slick bunt and beat the throw to first, Audrey Ebert slammed a two-run double down the third base line and Emma Medin had another huge blow with a triple out to left field. Medin scored on a passed ball and after Meyer whiffed another Viking to end the inning, it was 6-1 for Colfax.
Elk Mound put runners on the top of the fifth when Alexa Severson reached on an infield hit and Jaidynn Sarauer moved her up on a sacrifice bunt. But a fly ball and a ground out left her on second base.
Hannah Peterson started the Viking half of the fifth with yet another near perfect bunt that just froze in front of the plate. She stole second on a very close call but a pop up, a ground out and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Mounders put another runner on second in the sixth but the Colfax defense was pretty solid at this point. Anderson snared a pop up behind third base, Schindler caught another near first and a ground ball out finished off the inning. Meyer put Colfax down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning and Field finished the game off by doing the same to the Elk Mound batters.
Hannah Peterson, Shipman and Anderson all had a pair of hits to lead the Vikings with Anderson and Ebert both collecting two RBIs. Field gave up just three hits with a trio of strikeouts and free passes each. Meyer allowed nine hits with five Ks and one walk.