By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay softball braved the intermittent rain yesterday to face off against DC Everest in what would boil down to a defensively hard-fought game. Unfortunately, Everest would score the extra run they would need to win with a final score of 2-1, with Merrill generating six hits and committing no errors. This loss puts Merrill down to 5-2 in the conference and 8-6 overall.
Merrill started off well with a run in the first inning with Leonna Ives scoring off Chelsey LaMonica’s hard grounder to left field. Everest would get their first run in the fourth, also with a hard grounder to left field. Both teams were playing very well until the top of the sixth when Everest hit a triple to right field, allowing the Everest batter to advance to third. Shortly after, a ground ball to center would allow her to score the winning run.
“I thought our pitching and defense were excellent tonight,” comments head coach Matt Ellenbecker. “Had you told me we’d hold Brinkman, Plaza, and Gajewski to a 2×9 showing coming into the game, I’d have told you we’re going to win that ball game. Unfortunately, Miranda Gajewski had other things in mind. Taylor and our defense behind her did a nice job with that part of the order, and we made Everest earn everything that they got. They had a couple of girls lower in their order step up with some big hits for them tonight. You tip your cap.”
Ives had the only run of the game, coming off LaMonica’s RBI, with Maddix Bonnell also getting a walk. More sparks flew on the defensive side, with Taylor Krueger pitching a great game. She struck out five, walked three, allowed eight hits and two runs – one earned. LaMonica lead the fielding effort with seven putouts and an assist with Calli Oberg close behind with five putouts. Other fielders that made an impact include Bonnell with four putouts and three assists, Ives with two putouts and two assists, Kelsie Belfiori with a putout and an assist and both Calle Johnson and Cassandra Casper with a putout each.
“I liked the way we came out and took control of the game early with big hits by Leonna and Chelsey,” adds Ellenbecker. “Cassandra Casper and Maddix did their parts to give us opportunities later on in the game, but we couldn’t push across another run.”
“We’ll work on things to put ourselves in better position for success in those spots going forward. I have no complaints about the effort and energy that I saw on the field tonight. We had girls laying out and putting it on the line for their teammates, and that’s what we’ve been pushing to see. Don’t be afraid to go make a play.”
Bluejay varsity softball will have their next game on Thursday, May 5 at 4:30 p.m. at Wausau East.
Stats provided by GameChanger.