The Northwestern High School softball team opened the WIAA Division 3 playoffs with a 10-2 win over Ladysmith Tuesday, May 21, at the Brule softball fields.
The Tigers will now host Cumberland (14-8) at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 23. The Beavers advanced with a 10-0, 5-inning win over St. Croix Falls.
While it wasn't quite the same as when the Tigers swept a doubleheader from the Lumberjacks by a combined score of 29-1 on May 11, the Tigers still managed to win convincely and improve to 18-4.
Northwestern scored in four straight innings and eventually led 9-0.
Ladysmith scored its runs in the top of the fifth when Hanna Riegal doubled, Emma Diekman singled and both scored on a single by DeLaney Herbes.
The Tigers finished with nine hits. Kennedy Nelson doubled, singled, knocked in a run and scored three times; Karsyn Jones tripled, singled and had two RBIs; and Brooke ogren had two hits and an RBI.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Nelson singled and stole three straight bases for the first run, and Ogren, who reached on an error and moved up on singles by Jones and Jayda Klobucher, scored on a wild pitch.
Northwestern's three runs in the second game on an error, a wild pitch and Ogren’s RBI single.
In the third, Nelson hit an RBI double and eventually stole home; and in the fourth, Jones hit an RBI triple and scored on a Taya Plasch's sac fly.
Tory Anderson singled and scored the Tigers’ final run on Jones' sac fly in the sixth.
Allison Luoma tossed a complete-game five-hitter with 11 strikeouts for the Tigers.
Riegal took the loss for Ladysmith, allowing seven earned runs with one strikeout and three walks.
Northwestern swept a doubleheader from Cumberland by scores of 11-1 and 5-2 on April 30.
The winner will play either No. 1 Bloomer or No. 4 Spooner on Tuesday, May 28.
The sectional championship game is Thursday, May 30, at Bloomer.