By Nick Beversdorf
After a 4-3 victory over West Salem on Tuesday, Hatchet varsity softball was defeated by La Crosse-Logan on the following day with a final score of 5-0. With that loss, Hatchet softball officially ends its post-season run.
The first game against West Salem went very well for the Hatchets. The final score was 4-3 with Tomahawk mustering eight hits and committing four errors. West Salem got an early lead with two runs at the top of the first but Tomahawk responded with a run in the bottom. After a scoreless second and third inning, Tomahawk got another run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.
West Salem got another run at the top of the fifth but Tomahawk got a run in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to win the game.
Top hitters for Tomahawk include Taylor Shilts (2H, 2R, 1SB), Katy Volz (2H, 1RBI) and Danielle Kurth (1H, 1RBI, triple). Rachel Dallman pitched all innings, striking out six, walking three, allowing three hits and three runs-one earned.
“This was an outstanding softball game,” comments head coach John Larson. “We gave up two unearned runs in the first innings but our girls responded by getting one of those runs back in the first and taking the lead in the fourth. The game went back and forth going into the seventh. With the game tied the Hatchets would load the bases with no outs. Courtney Theiler would hit a walk-off single to right center for the win.
“Before entering tournament play, we discussed as a team that just being competitive is not good enough. We need to win the close games. The girls did just that, it was a great Hatchet win.”
The next day on Wednesday the Hatchets faced off against La Crosse-Logan and things did not go as well. Tomahawk lost with a final score of 5-0 without any hits and committing two errors.
After two scoreless innings, Logan got two runs at the bottom of the third and two more at the bottom of the fourth. They tacked on one more in the fifth. Tomahawk would not be able to answer in the sixth or seventh inning.
Defensively the Hatchets were solid, with Rachel Dallman striking out seven, walking one, allowing eight hits and five runs-all earned.
“Going in we knew that this game would be tough,” adds Larson. “Facing the defending D2 champions on their home field and going up against one of the best pitchers in the state, the Hatchets would have to be at their best. Offensively, we could not get anything going. We faced a riseball that we have never seen all year and couldn’t make the adjustment at the plate and we chased pitches that were out of the strike zone. At the plate we just struggled.”
Even with the season now over, Coach Larson looks ahead to the off-season and next year.
“This was a great learning experience for our young team. Now we have to take the next step. We are close, but not quite there. The off-season is where champions are made. Expectations have been laid out as to what we need to do and where we need to go. It was a great overall season and a fun group to coach.”