By Nick Beversdorf
It was one of those games where you couldn’t tell who would win until the last pitch. Bluejay varsity softball defeated Wausau West yesterday with a final score of 9-8, making 14 hits and committing two errors. The game progressed in an almost rhythmic fashion-every time Merrill would get the advantage, West would seemingly pull magic out of nowhere and tie the score, a couple times with home runs.
Merrill started off strong in the first inning with Calli Oberg batting in Chelsey LaMonica, (who earlier stole second) with a hard grounder to second. West responded at the top of the third with a home run fly ball to center. LaMonica then responded with a grounder to third base that would allow Calle Johnson to score, putting Merrill a run ahead at the bottom of the third.
Again, West was able to respond with a run at the top of the fourth that tied the game back up. Come bottom of the fourth, Merrill put up two more runs, one that would result from Lindsey Travis’s hit into foul territory. Although the ball would be caught for an out, Cassandra Casper would tag up on third base and bolt towards home, sliding in just before the ball made it to the catcher’s mitt. Molly Weix would score the second run, courtesy of Johnson’s line drive to second base.
Things seemed to be going the Bluejays’ way until West hit another home run to center, which was good for two runs. With the scored back to a tie, Merrill responded at the bottom of the fifth with two more runs. The first run was scored by Leonna Ives, courtesy of a LaMonica line drive to center. LaMonica would later score the second run off a passed ball.
Unsurprisingly, West tied the game back up with two runs of their own off a deep fly to center. Merrill responded with three runs at the bottom of the sixth, starting with LaMonica batting in both Molly Weix and Johnson with a line drive to left. Leonna Ives would score the last of Merrill’s runs off Oberg’s line drive to center.
With the three-run score difference, the only thing Merrill had to do at the top of the seventh was prevent enough runs until the inning was over. A series of grounders and line drives allowed West to amass two runs and load the bases. There was plenty of trepidation in the air as the next at-bats would be critical. A West sacrifice fly to Ives who passed it to Oberg at home to prevent a run and get the first out of the inning.
The last hit of the game was a grounder to shortstop that lead to a beautiful double play by Maddix Bonnell and Oberg to end the game.
LaMonica lead the effort offensively and defensively with three hits, two runs, three RBIs, a steal and a double along with six putouts and two assists out on the diamond. She also pitched 1.2 innings, striking out one, walking two, allowing one hit and two earned runs. Taylor Krueger pitched the other five innings, striking out one, walking two, allowing 13 hits and six runs-five earned.
Other offensive leaders include Johnson (2H, 2R, 1RBI, 1BB, 1SB), Ives (2R, 1BB, 2SB), Molly Weix (1H, 2R, 1SB) and Cassandra Casper (1H, 1R). Top fielders include Oberg and Bonnell with four putouts, three assists and a double play each, Ives with three putouts and an assist, Molly Weix with two putouts, Lindsey Casper with a putout and two assists and Kelsie Belfiori with a putout.
Bluejay varsity softball will have their next game at Marshfield today (May 12) at 4:30 p.m. They will also have a double header against Antigo tomorrow starting at 4 p.m. at the MARC.
Stats provided by GameChanger.