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One big inning was all it took on May 14 when the Reedsburg prep softball team allowed eight runs in the fifth inning and fell to Portage 11-0 in a Badger North Conference game at Nishan Park.

Portage (15-4 overall, 9-3 Badger North) pieced together a 3-0 lead after four innings, only to explode at the plate in the fifth. The Warriors recorded six hits in the frame, including a two-run homer from Katelyn Belleau while also capitalizing on an error in left field to take the commanding 11-0 lead.

“Portage is excellent. Throughout their whole lineup they’ve got kids who can hit and can execute,” Reedsburg coach Andy Gesteland said. “They’re fast, and they play defense well. So they really are legit. They should contend; I think there’s three contending for that upper (conference) spot but they should definitely contend. With their pitching, they’re pretty solid.”

The speedy Warriors used some small ball to put runners on base throughout the contest, including in the opening inning. Brianna Brandner bunted and beat the throw and proceeded to steal second and advanced to third on a groundout. She then tagged up on a sacrifice fly from Joia Simonson to give Portage the early lead.

Reedsburg got a taste of Meghan Witt on the mound in the bottom half. Witt was a bit shaky early on, throwing a couple of walks as Reiley Schyvinck and Mallory Stingley reached while Reiley Schyvinck added a sacrifice bunt, but Witt ended the inning with a couple of strikeouts.

“We battled, and that’s what we do,” Gesteland said. “We tried to get runners on with a sacrifice to get to second in that first inning, tried to do the same in the second inning, we’ve just lacked that key hit this year.”

Portage threatened in the second with a couple of singles and two walks, but one runner was caught stealing while Schyvinck ended the jam with a strikeout.

The Warriors found their next run in the third. Simonson nearly recorded a triple in the frame but was tagged out at third, but an ensuing blooper and an RBI single from Belleau made it 2-0.

Witt struck out two more in the bottom half, while Portage tacked on its third run in the fourth. With two outs, Brandner bunted and beat the throw once again, and stole second before Olivia Limmex walked. Simonson drove in Brandner to make it 3-0, and the Warriors juiced the bases after an intentional walk but a groundout ended the inning.

Reedsburg’s Kaitlyn Zunker led off the bottom fourth with a single but Witt struck out the next batter and forced a pop-up moments later. Maddy Selje tried to keep things going for the Beavers with a single but an infield fly stranded two.

Portage put the game away from there. Hanne Anderson, Erin Kibby, and McKenzie Brown loaded the bases with one out with base hits, while a walk from Brandner made it 4-0. An RBI blooper to right field from Limmex scored another, which was when Simonson lined one to left and the ball went between the legs of Reedsburg’s left fielder to score two more. Witt added a two-RBI double, which prompted a pitching change from Schyvinck to Olivia Fry. Belleau was unfazed, as she cracked out her two-run homer over the center field fence moments later.

Reedsburg 8, Mount Horeb 4

Less than 24 hours later, Reedsburg hosted Mount Horeb in another conference contest. It was a battle of two struggling teams, as the Beavers were sitting at 1-11 while the Vikings were 3-14. With both teams eager for a victory, Reedsburg wound up on top, scoring several runs in the final two innings to claim an 8-4 victory. It was the first conference win of the year for the Beavers.

Reedsburg allowed an unearned run in the opening frame, before knotting the score off a Zunker single, a Stingley walk and an RBI single from Koopmeiner. That 1-1 score held all the way until the fifth inning, which was when the Beavers took control. Engel led off the frame with a walk and was quickly brought home by an RBI double from Zunker. Zunker would score off a groundout and a passed ball, while Koopmeiner doubled to right. After a strikeout and a walk, Darriane Sobojinski cracked out a two-RBI double to left field to give Reedsburg the 5-1 lead.

Mount Horeb made things interesting in the ensuing frame. Maggie Fassbender led off the sixth with a solo home run over center field, while two more runs were scored off a hit-by-pitch, a single, a groundout, and a two-RBI single. The Beavers were unfazed at the comeback attempt however, scoring three runs of their own in the bottom half. Engel, Zunker, and Makayla Bretsch all recorded singles in the inning.

The Beavers (2-11 overall, 1-11 Badger North) hosted Sauk Prairie on May 16 in a conference game that ended after Times-Press print time. Reedsburg will travel to Portage on May 17 for its final game of the regular season.

PORTAGE 11, REEDSBURG 0

Portage 101 18; — 11 16 0

Reedsburg 000 00; — 0 2 0

PORTAGE (ab-r-h-rbi) — Brandner 3-3-2-1, Limmex 3-1-1-1, Simonson 3-1-3-4, Witt 3-2-2-1, Bellean 4-1-2-3, Weiss 4-0-2-1, Anderson 4-1-3-0, Kibby 2-1-1-0, Brown 1-1-0-0, Kratz 0-0-0-0.

REEDSBURG — Schyvinck 1-0-0-0, Fry 1-0-0-0, Engel 2-0-0-0, Zunker 2-0-1-0, Stingley 1-0-0-0, Koopmeiner 2-0-0-0, Selje 2-0-1-0, Meinhardt 2-0-0-0, Bretsch 1-0-0-0, Sobojinski 1-0-0-0, Tourdot 1-0-0-0, Howard 0-0-0-0.

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — P: Witt (W) 5-2-0-3-6. R: Schyvinck (L) 4-14-9-5-2, Fry 0-2-1-0-1.

REEDSBURG 8, MOUNT HOREB 4

Mount Horeb 100 003 0 — 4 8 0

Reedsburg 100 043; — 8 11 3

MOUNT HOREB (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kettleson 4-0-2-2, Ramos 4-0-1-0, Holman 3-1-3-0, Rumter 4-0-0-0, Lang 4-0-0-0, Fassbender 4-1-1-1, Kraemer 3-1-0-0, Holman 3-1-1-0, Adler 3-0-0-0.

REEDSBURG — Schyvinck 4-0-0-0, Engel 3-2-1-0, Zunker 3-3-3-2, Stingley 2-1-0-0, Koopmeiner 3-1-3-1, Bretsch 3-0-1-1, Meinhardt 1-0-0-0, Selje 2-0-0-0, Sobojinski 3-0-2-2, Howard 2-0-0-0, Tourdot 1-0-1-0.

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) — R: Schyvinck (W) 7-8-3-0-1. MH: Holman (L) 6-11-8-7-7.

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Regional Sports Reporter