The Baraboo prep softball team simply couldn’t keep up with the Badger North Conference leader on Tuesday as the Thunderbirds were swept by DeForest in a doubleheader at Pierce Park.
Baraboo played right alongside the Norskies for six of the seven innings in the opening game, only to allow four runs in the seventh inning which resulted in an 8-1 loss.
“This was one of our better efforts of the season,” coach Bonnie Brandreth said. “Especially in that first game, I felt like we belonged on that field with them. We just hit some shots that went right at them; that’s just the way the game is sometimes. But everyone kept fighting and I was just really proud of the team.”
DeForest (16-4 overall, 12-1 Badger North) struck first, recording two singles before second baseman Kaylin McCauley tagged a runner and threw to first on a grounder for a double play. The Norskies still found a run however, after a passed ball made it 1-0.
Baraboo went three-up, three-down for the first two innings, while DeForest added a run in the third off of a single, a groundout, a walk, and an RBI single. The T-Birds started finding ways to get on base, with Addie Filus reaching on a hit-by-pitch in the third but Baraboo struggled finding the key hits. A similar situation played out in the fourth, with Haley Hannagan lining one through the glove of DeForest’s second baseman, who made up for the error a batter later as she made a quick catch and closed out the double play at first. Jovanna Blum tried to keep things going with a single before stealing second and racing to third on an errant throw, but was left stranded after a groundout.
“If we could just get that single. Just get something through, get a couple runs in, then it’s a game,” Brandreth said.
DeForest’s bats came to life, cracking out back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth before a bobbled grounder scored both runners to make it 4-0. A couple of flyouts ended the frame. Baraboo was put on the board in the bottom half, with McCauley reaching on an error and was eventually brought home on an RBI single from Elise Lewison. The T-Birds threatened again in the bottom of the sixth when Hannagan worked up to a full count and earned the walk and eventually advanced to third. Jade Parchem walked, but another groundout ended the chance.
The Norskies put the game away in the top of the seventh. Two singles and a bunt loaded the bases, while a two-RBI single and another RBI base hit made it 7-1. A groundout RBI scored another, and the T-Birds went three-up, three-down in the final frame.
Baraboo had a nice start to the second game. Montana Schuler led off with a hit-by-pitch off the helmet, while Hannagan singled and Kelly Andrews advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Blum nearly drove both of them in but lined out to the first baseman, but Schuler crossed the plate moments later on a passed ball. Andrews was sent home on the play after an errant throw back to the pitcher but was tagged out at the plate.
The Norskies took control from there, scoring five runs in the bottom half with four singles and three walks. Baraboo struggled at the plate from there, with the only hits coming from Hannagan in the third, Parchem in the fourth, and Lewison in the seventh but the Thunderbirds couldn’t bring them in. Meanwhile, DeForest tacked on a couple of more runs off of solo home runs from Cammi Riemer in the bottom of the fourth and Aleah Grundahl in the sixth.
“The second game I think we ran out of steam. Got behind early, so I think we just lost energy,” Brandreth said. “Those five runs ended up being the difference for us being competitive but I don’t feel like we ever got our focus back.”
Brandreth said despite the losses, her defense made the plays.
“We were stretching out, backhanding, making the harder, longer throws. We haven’t seen that this year and we saw it today so that made me very happy,” she said. “(The losses) weren’t from our problems; it wasn’t us. DeForest is just a good team who knows when to bring it on and they just had a little bit more.”
Baraboo (5-10 overall, 5-8 Badger North) will face another tough opponent on Thursday when the T-Birds host Waunakee.
DEFOREST 8, BARABOO 1
DeForest 011 020 4 - 8 13 2</&hspag2>
Baraboo 000 010 0 - 1 4 2
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Shaw (1.1-0-0-0-1), Tschumper (W; 5.2-4-1-1-5), Lewison (4.1-8-2-1-1), Blum (L; 2.2-5-4-1-1).
Leading Hitters — DeForest — Riemer (2x3), Olson (2x2), Esse (4x4). 2B — Riemer. Baraboo — 3B — McCauley.
DEFOREST 7, BARABOO 1
Baraboo 100 000 0 - 1 4 2</&hspag2>
DeForest 500 101 0 - 7 13 0
Pitchers — (ip-h-er-bb-so) — Blum (L; 5-9-2-1-1), Amant (1-4-5-3-1), Shaw (W; 4-3-1-2-5), Wittmann (3-1-0-0-1).
Leading Hitters — Baraboo — Hannagan (2x3). DeForest — Riemer (3x3), Grundahl (3x4), Esse (2x4), Ramirez (3x4), 2B — Tschumper, Grundahl. HR — Riemer, Grundahl.