Monday evening, Bluejay varsity softball welcomed Wisconsin Rapids for a WVC duel at the MARC.
The Raiders would land on the board with a run right away in the first. The Jays answered in the bottom of the first when Patience Pyan plated home off a Lindsey Casper grounder to the Raider pitcher. Following a three-inning deadlock, the Raiders would cut loose with a four-run foray to go up 5-1 in the top of the fifth. The Jays would have an answer with a pair of runs from Kelsie Belfiori and Maddix Bonnell in the bottom of the fifth, but the effort would fall short as the Raiders cruised to a 5-3 win.
“We played well with the exception of a couple plays and Rapids capitalized” comments head coach Matt Ellenbecker.
“We had a chance to get out of the 5th inning 1-1, and couldn’t make a play, and they went on to group some hits together to take the lead. I liked that we battled back. This was another game that we were a hit away from tying or winning late, but we weren’t able to pull through. The positive is that we had more good at-bats tonight. Kelsie Belfiori looked very confident and comfortable, going 1-1 with 3 walks. She was locked in. Calli Oberg had 2 big hits. Taylor hit the ball hard and picked up a walk. We had a ton of baserunners tonight. That’s a good sign. Obviously you need to bring them in, but we’ll take the progress.
We need to build fast. Though, now, I think every player on this team still believes that we are good enough to win games in the playoffs,” he adds. “That’s key. We need things to start translating to the field now. Win or go home. We need to figure out how to win close ones really quick.”
The Jays end their 2017 conference season ranked third at 4-7, behind D.C Everest and Marshfield tied at 2nd (9-3).
Batting: Krueger (1/2, RBI, TB); Belfiori (1/1, R, TB); Calli Oberg (2/3, BB, 2TB); Pyan (1/3, R); Lindsey Casper (1/4, RBI, TB); Bonnell (1/3, R, RBI, TB)
Pitching: Krueger (L/6K, 5R, ER, 7H)
WRL: 1 0 0 0 4 0 0-5
MRL: 1 0 0 0 2-0 0-3
Thunderstruck at Seymour
Last Thursday, the ladies hit the road eastbound for a non-conference showdown with the Seymour Thunder.
In the wake of a three-inning stalemate, the Jays broke the game open when Makayla Heller came home off a Taylor Krueger grounder to the shortstop. Unfortunately, the score would be the lone-mark of the contest for the ladies as the Thunder struck once again in the bottom of the seventh to seal the deal 2-1.
“Seymour is a very solid team and we played them tough until the end,” comments head coach Matt Ellenbecker.
“We had opportunities to expand our lead earlier and squandered them. It was good for us to get a look from a couple different solid pitchers. We did a great job putting the ball in play, and had mulitple hard-hit outs, but we are still too antsy in the box and pull-heavy. We need to be more disciplined hitters if we are going to snap out of the funk we’ve been in on offense.
“Taylor Krueger threw the ball very well today, and looked very good at the plate. She’s been struggling offensively for much of the year, so it was good to see the work she has been putting in pay off tonight. Hopefully that continues. Seymour is a 1 seed in their sectional, so they are a quality team. We haven’t been able to win close games this year, and that is going to have to change if we want to play on. I think a lot of that is mindset, so we need to make sure we are sharp every pitch and put ourselves in position to come out on top.”
Batting: Krueger (3/3, RBI, 3TB); Pyan (2/3, 2B, 3TB); Oberg (1/3, TB)
Pitching: Krueger (L/5K, 2R,2 ER, 9 H)
MRL: 0 0 0 1 0 0 0-1
SMR: 0 0 0 1 0 0 1-2