With the top seed in the Section 1AA softball playoffs, Z-M was favored but knew it would still face some of the area’s best competition. That was the case Thursday afternoon when the Cougars traveled to Austin’s Todd Park to face off with St. Charles with a spot in the section championship on the line. The Saints, which had been defeated by the Cougars 10-3 earlier this season, were up to the task however, and sent Z-M to the elimination bracket with a 3-2 victory.
The loss for the Cougars was tough to swallow as they scored the game’s first two runs right away in the first inning, thanks to a two-run homer by Sydney Higley. That 2-0 lead held all the way until the sixth inning when St. Charles started showing signs of life by trimming the deficit in half.
Then in the seventh inning, the Saints went for it all and put up two runs to stun the Cougars and punch their ticket to the Section 1AA softball championship. The Cougars meanwhile were sent to the elimination bracket where a matchup with Cotter loomed.
Cotter held the No. 1 seed from the other subsection of the bracket. Much like St. Charles, the Cougars had previously defeated the Ramblers, but this rematch went more in the favor of Z-M.
After enduring a last-inning rally resulting in a loss just minutes before, Z-M was quick to wash the painful memory away and dispatched Cotter easily, 8-0.
Pitching stats: Avery Steffen (7 IP, 5 K, 6 H, 3 ER)
Batting stats: Higley (2 RBI, 1 HR), Ri Buck (2 H, 1 2B), Steffen (1 H, 1 R), Sarah Mensink (1 H)
Next up for Z-M is a rematch with St. Charles in the Section 1AA softball championship in Austin on Thursday. Should Z-M win, a second game will be played immediately afterwards to determine the section champion. If Z-M loses the first game, their season is over and St. Charles will be section champs.
Wolves end losing streak with blowout victory
After laboring through a seven-game losing streak, E/PC was finally able to put the unsavory milestone in the rearview mirror with a 13-2 thrashing of Spring Valley on Monday.
E/PC wasted little time building up a big lead, scoring one run in the first inning before exploding for five runs in the second. The Wolves were up 10-0 before Spring Valley finally scored its first runs in the top of the fourth. It was too little, too late for the Cardinals though as the Wolves added three more runs in the bottom of the frame to go up by double-digits. With no scoring in the fifth inning, the game was ended by the 10-run rule.
Pitching stats: Ashlan Faber (5 IP, 8 K, 3 BB, 1 H)
Batting stats: Hailee McDonough (2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB), Maggie Glaus (4 SB, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 H, 1 BB), Natalie Mark (1 R, 1 SB), Rylee Hartung (1 R, 1 BB), Brooke Schwebach (1 RBI, 1 2B), Courtney Bignell (2 R, 1 H, 1 RBI), Hannah Baier (1 BB), Grace Hinrichs (3 R, 2 BB, 1 H, 1 RBI), Faber (3 SB, 1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB), Kenzie Bauer (1 R)
E/PC, 8-7, travels to Shell Lake on Friday for its regular season finale. The Wolves will then play Monday in the first round of the Division 4 playoffs on the road against Fall Creek.