Eagles, Tigers and Evergreens advanceSpartan baseball and softball teams suffer first-round defeats
The Solon Springs baseball team opened the WIAA Division 4 playoffs with a 7-5 win over Mellen Tuesday afternoon in Solon Springs.
Cody Utyro was the winning pitcher, allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts and one walk. He also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Also for the Eagles, Phil Larson was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases; Brett Missinne knocked in two runs despite going 0-for-4 and Tyler Long chipped in with a run and RBI.
“Cody pitched well, walking only one and giving up only one hit through the first 4 innings,” SSHS coach Nate Ahlberg said. “We did a great job of putting the ball in play with two-strike counts. Five of our seven hits came on two-strike counts, as well as Missinne’s RBI groundout.”
The Eagles will take a 13-10 record into Wednesday’s game against the winner of Drummond and Bayfield. Solon Springs will host that game if Bayfield can pull off an up-set win over Drummond.
River Falls 3, Superior 2
The season came to an end for the Superior High School baseball team with a 3-2 loss at River Falls Tuesday afternoon.
The Spartans took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to Dane Sislo’s two-out, two-run double. Scoring on the play were Paul Edwards, who was hit by a pitch, and Grant Rindal, who singled.
The Wildcats cut the lead in half in the fourth inning on John Krueger’s RBI triple and then took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The tying run came when Sam Barr singled and scored on Alex Call’s triple. Call then scored on a sacrifice fly.
Rindal suffered the loss for the Spartans, allowing five hits with 11 strikeouts and two walks in six innings. Freshman James Witt picked up the win after pitching three innings.
The Spartans, who end the season with a record of 9-12-1, had five hits, two by Rindal and one each by Sislo, Edwards and Taavi Mattson.
River Falls improves to 15-10 and next plays at No. 1 Stevens Point at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Tiger girls advance
The Northwestern Tigers softball team advanced to the WIAA Division 2 regional finals with a 6-2 win Tuesday afternoon at Barron.
The Tigers will take a 14-9 record in Thursday’s game at Rice Lake. It will be the third time in four seasons that the Warriors and Tigers have faced each other in the playoffs.
“We challenged our team to get to the regional finals and beat Rice Lake,” NHS coach Scott Janigo said. “It’s always a battle at Rice Lake and we’ve had them on the ropes the past two years. We had leads late, but had the wheels fall off with an error or a mistake.
“We’re playing good ball right now. We’re putting the bat on the ball and we’re playing good defense. Hopefully things are different this time around.”
Shelby Schultz was the winning pitcher Tuesday, allowing five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Alie Larson led the Tigers at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a triple and RBI. Tiana Arseneau added a RBI single in the first inning and a three-run double in the second inning. She finished with four RBIs.
Schultz and Aliex Friend also singled and scored a run each.
Tigers win opener
The Tigers opened the playoffs with a 10-0 win over Unity in five innings. After getting rained out on Thursday, the game was played Friday afternoon in Brule.
Schultz was also the winning pitcher against Unity, tossing a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts. She retired the Unity batters 1-2-3 in four of the five innings.
Everybody in the NHS line-up got a hit, led by Friend, who went 3-for-3. Schultz, Alex Bodendorfer and Hailey Eller added two hits each.
With the score 8-0 in favor of the Tigers, Alie Larson put an end to game with a two-run over-the-fence home run.
Tigers win finale
Larson also homered over the fence in the Tigers’ 11-3 win over Chequamegon in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Schultz was the winning pitcher, allowing four hits with four strikeouts.
Sarah Miller led the Tigers offensively, going 3-for-4. Arseneau was also 3-for-5 with three RBIs; and Bodendorfer and Larson had three hits each.
The Northwood High School softball team opened play in the Division 4 playoffs with an 11-1 five-inning win over Mellen Tuesday afternoon in Minong.
McKayla Waggoner doubled twice and knocked in three runs for the Evergreens. Teagen Harrings added a double, single and two RBIs; and Sarah Olson singled and scored two runs.
Mellen scored its run in the top of the first inning.
Northwood got that run back plus another in the bottom of the first inning then added four runs in the second inning and five more in the fifth.
Harings was the winning pitcher, allowing two hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Waggoner hit a RBI single in the first inning and a two-run double in the fourth.
The game ended via the 10-run rule when Harrings singled home Olson with one out in the fifth inning.
The Evergreens, the No. 1 seed in the region, will host Drummond on Thursday. The Lumberjacks advanced with a 9-2 win over Solon Springs.
Menomonie 4, Superior 2
The Superior High School softball team came up short in its WIAA Division 1 playoff opener, losing 4-2 at Menomonie.
The Mustangs scored twice in the first inning, and once each in the second and fifth innings.
Both Spartan runs came in the sixth inning. Jessica Lindstrom, who doubled with one out, and Taylor Thompson’s courtesy runner Ari Jago scored on Kaitlyn Mergen’s two-run single. With Courtney Oak running for Mergen, Alison Wainionpaa hit the fence cap in the right-center gap, but Oak was thrown out at the plate.
The only other time Superior had runners in scoring position came in the fifth inning.
Menomonie’s runs in the first inning came on three-straight doubles. Another double made the score 3-0 and then Brooke Stainer hit a home run in the fifth.
Haley Wisley was the winning pitcher, allowing seven hits with one walk and no strikeouts. Wainionpaa suffered the loss, allowing seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Superior’s season ends with a 14-10 record.
Menomonie plays at No. 1 Chippewa Falls on Thursday.