By Nick Beversdorf
Bluejay varsity softball was scheduled to play Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau on Wednesday, but rain and thunder forced a delay and eventually a postponement after just a few pitches.
Rain soon came in and swamped the field during the first attempt, causing a one and a half hour delay. The rain eventually subsided and the game was moved to a drier field at the MARC. However, after field preparation and setup, the rain came back much worse. Neither team could get anything going, and it was decided to postpone the game in the bottom of the second. The field became flooded soon after.
The weather was much better on Thursday and the game was able to continue right where it left off. The long delay seemed to give the lady Jays what they needed, as they got the only two runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning.
It started with Lindsey Casper hitting a fly to left allowing Kelsie Belfiori to score after tagging up on third. Cassandra Casper also was also able to advance to third. Right after, Taylor Krueger batted in Cassandra with a hard grounder to right.
Third inning onward the game became a stalemate. Merrill made solid contact with the ball at the plate, but it usually went straight to GET’s defense. Likewise, any hits GET made usually went straight to Merrill. The quick succession of outs moved the game relatively quickly to a Merrill victory.
“This was such a strange game being played over two nights,” comments head coach Matt Ellenbecker. “I think that probably negatively affected both offenses. I thought both teams made pretty solid contact throughout the game, but we were able to bunch our base runners together a bit there in the second inning.”
“Cassandra Casper lead off day two of action with Kelsie Belfiori starting out on 1st base after drawing a walk just before rain shut us down the night before. I had the night to stew it over and we’d decided we wanted to bunt Kelsie over to 2nd and make their defense make a play to get an out. Well, Cassandra fouled off two bunt attempts, which put her in an 0-2 hole. She didn’t back down and drove the next pitch to the gap in left-center to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Lindsey Casper would crush a pitch to left field that was probably kept in the ball park by a stiff wind blowing in. Kelsie tagged up and scored and Cassandra advanced to 3rd with some heads up base running. Taylor Krueger then hit a ball sharply out to right field that plated Cassandra.”
Top hitters for Merrill include Cassandra Casper (1H, 1R, double), Calli Oberg (1H), LaMonica (1H), Krueger (1RBI) and Lindsey Casper (1RBI). Krueger picthed through the whole game, striking out four, walking none, allowing three hits and no runs.
LaMonica lead the fielding effort with eight putouts. Other fielders include Maddix Bonnell (5PO, 5A), Oberg (3PO), Calle Johnson (1PO) and Cassandra Casper (1PO).
With this win, Bluejay varsity softball will play GNC champion Mosinee at Mosinee today, time TBD.