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The Baraboo High School softball team took the Badger North Conference leaders to the brink Thursday night.

The Thunderbirds held a 5-4 lead through five innings of play before unbeaten DeForest rallied to hand Baraboo a 10-5 home loss at Pierce Park.

“We had them,” Baraboo coach Dan Lewison said after the loss. “They are an outstanding team, but they were on the ropes. Their experience just pulled through in the end.”

DeForest, No. 8 in the latest Wisconsin Fastball Softball Coaches Association/WisSports.net coaches’ poll, looked to be in control early. Catcher Cammi Riemer hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Norskies a 4-1 lead.

Baraboo (7-3, 3-3 Badger North) pitcher Emma Crary settled in from there, stranding runners at second and third base in the third inning to keep the T-Birds within striking range.

Baraboo took advantage in the bottom of the third. Shortstop Jade Parchem led off with a single, then the T-Birds put together a two-out rally. Paige Lewison reached on an error to put runners at second and third for Callie Hammermeister. The senior first baseman singled up the middle to score Parchem, while second baseman Macy Henry followed with a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 4.

Crary stranded two more DeForest (8-0, 6-0 Badger North) baserunners in the fourth inning, thanks to a backhanded play by Henry.

The T-Birds went down in order in the fourth before taking their first lead of the night in the fifth. Addie Filus led off with an infield single. Hammermeister made it count, singling and allowing Filus to slide home safely to give Baraboo a 5-4 lead.

The Norskies showed their mettle the rest of the way. Riemer hit a one-out double to right center in the top of the sixth inning, then came around to score on Taylor VonBehren’s double down the left-field line. VonBehren advanced to third on a wild pitch and eventually scored when Jordan Marty grounded out to the right side of the infield to give DeForest a 6-5 lead.

DeForest pitcher Taylor Shaw threw a one-two-three sixth inning, then the Norskies put the game away in the top of the seventh.

The T-Birds nearly got out of the inning without any damage, as Crary got the first two Norskies to ground out. But the Norskies had a two-out rally in them, drawing a pair of walks before Riemer hit an RBI single. VonBehren added an RBI single that turned into two runs after a Baraboo error. After another walk and a Taylor Schumper RBI single, the Norskies took a 10-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Shaw did the rest, earning the win after striking out 11 while giving up five hits and one earned run in a complete game on the mound. Crary threw all seven innings for Baraboo, finishing with four strikeouts, 12 hits, three walks and six earned runs.

Waunakee outhit Baraboo 12-9 on the day, led by Riemer going 4 for 5 with a home run, three RBI and three runs. VonBehren went 3 for 3 and Taylor Tschumper went 3 for 5 for the Norskies.

Hammermeister had a big night for Baraboo, going 4 for 4 with one run and two RBI. Filus went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs, while Paige Lewison, Parchem and Henry each added a hit in the loss.

The T-Birds, who entered the night tied for third place in the Badger North, had a nice bounceback effort after struggling in Tuesday’s 10-0 home loss to Waunakee.

“I’m super proud of the way the kids responded after such a lousy showing on Tuesday,” Lewison said. “They responded well and showed if they play well they can play with anyone.”

The T-Birds will return to Pierce Park for Monday’s non-conference home game against Wisconsin Dells.

DeForest 220 002 4 — 10 12 3

Baraboo 103 010 0 — 5 9 5

Pitchers (ip-h-er-bb-so) D — Shaw (W, 7-9-1-1-11). B — Crary (L, 7-12-6-3-4).

Leading hitters: D — Riemer 4x5, VonBehren 3x3, Tschumper 3x5. B — Hammermeister 4x4, Filus 2x3. HR: Riemer. 2B: VonBehren, Riemer.

Follow Brock Fritz on Twitter @BrockFritz or contact him at 608-963-0344.

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