WAUPUN – Coach Tom Hagstrom will look at the positives coming out of Tuesday’s East Central Conference match-up against Kewaskum – the second-ranked team in Division 2 by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softabll Coaches Association/WisSports.net poll – for the seventh-ranked Waupun prep softball team.
The Warriors loaded the bases twice and had seven runners in scoring position, but could bring in just one in a 3-1 game that went 10 innings.
“I don’t know if it’s demoralizes us, but we’ve got seven base runners on, which is a lot better than we did the first time against (Kewaskum pitcher Kennedy Lehn),” Hagstrom said. “We’re looking at the positive. There was a lot more base runners, we did a lot more quality at bats than we did the first time against her. To me, that’s a positive that we had those base runners and we had those opportunities. We didn’t have those the first time around.”
On April 12, the Warriors (10-3, 8-1 East Central) were hitless against Lehn and lost to the Indians (11-0, 9-0) 6-0.
“Last year, I told them the same thing,” Hagstrom said. “We beat them the first time and they beat us. We can beat this team. We know what the formula is and we’ll work on it. We know what we need to do – execute a little bit better.”
Kewaskum executed on offense in the top of the 10th when Indians’ Kaitlin Miller hit a two-run single to center field with the bases loaded.
Waupun loaded the bases in the seventh and 10th innings, but the only run scored when Megan Van Ruiswyk was walked in the seventh, bringing in Katrina Pokorny to tie it at 1 to force extra innings. In the 10th inning, Erin Schmitt was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, but Lehn got Claire Harder to strike out to end the game.
“They worked their butts off out there,” Hagstrom said. “We can’t hang our heads. We lost to a really good team and a really strong pitcher. We had a plan: we were able to get in there, but we couldn’t quite get that big hit when we needed to.”
The big hit never came in the second inning after Harder bunted, but made it all the way to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Waupun couldn’t capitalize on the mistake as the sixth, seventh and eighth hitters all struck out to end the frame.
“I would’ve like to get a ball in play to give us an opportunity to get her in,” Hagstrom said.
Waupun got Lehn to throw 154 pitches in 10 innings of work, but only managed four hits and four walks. Lehn countered by striking out 14 Warriors.
Waupun, on the other hand, played great defense behind Van Ruiswyk. The starting slugger pitched a complete game, striking out six batters and walked four while giving up eight hits for three runs – two of which were earned. The Warriors completed two double plays – one in both the fourth and fifth – that stranded Indians in scoring position.
The double play in the fifth stood out to Hagstrom because Pokorny made a nice grab of a fly ball in left field and threw to second base to get Tara Theusch out.
“I’ll tell you, our left fielder Katrina Pokorny made two very nice grabs coming in that were outstanding,” he said.
KEWASKUM 3, WAUPUN 1 (10 INNINGS)
Kewaskum 100 000 000 2 - 3 8 2
Waupun 000 000 1 000 0 - 1 4 2
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-k): Kewaskum – Kennedy Lehn (W, 10-4-1-4-14). Waupun – Megan Van Ruiswyk (L, 10-8-2-5-6).
Leading hitters (two or more hits): Kewaskum – Kennedy Lehn 2x4, Kaitlin Miller 2x5. Waupun – None. 2B: Kewaskum – Tara Theusch. RBIs: Kewaskum – Kaitlin Miller 3.