Clutch hitting the difference as B-W tops Spartans
The number of baserunners Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville had in Monday's softball game was almost identical.
It was the hitting that was done when there were runners on base that was the difference.
Baldwin-Woodville popped a pair of two homers in Monday's game, to defeat the Spartans 5-1. The loss pushes Somerset's overall record back below .500, at 8-9.
"Only one of our hits came with someone on base," said Somerset coach Jane Driscoll, referring to Erin Dodor's sixth inning triple that scored Claire Blue. But Dodor was then stranded at third base.
All four of the Spartans' hits off B-W pitcher Melissa Johnson were for extra bases. Blue and Roxy Martin doubled and Dodor and Katie Potting tripled. So there wasn't a shortage of runners in scoring position for the Spartans.
Kaitlin Johnson threw a six-hitter for the Spartans, striking out nine Blackhawks. She was victimized by a two-run homer by Sam Rudesill in the third inning and a two-run shot by Johnson in the fourth inning.
The Spartans had been hoping to knock off one of the MBC leaders in the second round of play. They get their last shot this Thursday, when they host Prescott in the final conference game of the season.
On Monday the Spartans get a visit from St. Croix Falls in a non-conference game. St. Croix Falls was the team that ended New Richmond's undefeated season last Friday.
Two MBC wins
The Spartans played some of their best ball of the season in their conference games last week.
After their 8-7 eight inning loss to MBC leader New Richmond, the Spartans came back with effective efforts that beat Osceola and Ellsworth.
Last Tuesday the Spartans clubbed Osceola 14-4, with Somerset junior catcher Erin Dodor putting together one of the biggest offensive fireworks in school history.
Somerset came up with a 12-run fourth inning to turn the game in the Spartans' favor. Dodor started the rally with a bases-loaded triple. She then completed the bombastic inning with a grand slam homer, giving her seven runs batted in during the inning.
Through the end of last week, Dodor ranked in the top 10 in the conference in hitting. She also had 13 extra-base hits this season.
"She's been real consistent in really hitting the ball hard," Driscoll said. "Over half of her hits are for extra bases."
Katie Potting and Mariah Belisle also had two hits in the win.
Kaitlin Johnson pitched the complete game for the Spartans, throwing a six-hitter, walking two and striking out four.
That was a precursor for the gem that Johnson would throw in Thursday's 5-1 win at Ellsworth.
Johnson threw a one-hitter at Ellsworth, walking three and striking out seven. Driscoll said Johnson is continuing to get more comfortable as the mainstay of the Somerset pitching duty. Johnson leads the conference in innings pitched.
"The overall improvement is still evident," Driscoll said. "She's done well holding her composure."
The Spartans didn't have any hits until the fifth inning of Thursday's game. That didn't stop them from scoring three runs in the fourth inning. The Spartans were patient at the plate, using four walks and two hit batters to score the three runs.
In the fifth and sixth innings the Spartans added single runs.
The Spartans split the games they played in the Glenwood City tournament last Friday.
The Spartans played a lifeless opening game, losing to Boyceville 3-2. Johnson held the Bulldogs to one hit, her second straight one-hitter, but the Bulldogs used seven walks and two Spartan errors to get their three runs.
Four hits was all Somerset could muster against the slow-paced Boyceville pitching.
Then the Spartans bounced back with a much better performance, beating Clear Lake 6-2. Johnson again was sharp, limiting the Warriors to three hits and three walks.
Two runs in the third inning gave the Spartans the early lead and they salted the game away with five runs in the fifth inning.
Baldwin-Woodville 5, Somerset 1
Hinz c 2-1-0, Schlichting rf 4-0-1, Johnson p 3-2-1, Rudesill lf 4-1-1, Schumacher ss 4-0-2, Graf dp 4-0-1, Ducklow cf 1-0-0, Newton 3b 3-0-0, Monicken 1b 4-1-0. Totals 29-5-6.
Lindner lf 2-0-0, Martin 3b 3-0-1, Dodor c 3-0-1, Belisle 1b 3-0-0, Steinlicht cf 3-0-0, Potting ss 3-0-1, Hatch 2b 3-0-0, Larson cf 2-0-0, Blue rf 2-1-1. Totals 24-1-4.
2B-Blue, Martin. 3B-Potting, Dodor. RBI-Dodor.
Baldwin-Woodville 002 201 0=5
Somerset 000 001 0=1
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
Johnson (L) 7 6 5 1 5 9
Somerset 14, Osceola 4
Swanson ss 2-1-2, Kendrick c 1-2-1, Wilson cf 2-1-1, Rixmann 1b 2-0-1, McElfresh rf 3-0-1, Ellswanger 1b 3-0-0, Cross lf 3-0-0, Haley p 2-0-0, Christensen 3b 2-0-0. Totals 20-4-6.
Lindner lf 3-2-1, Steinlicht cf 2-2-1, Dodor c 3-2-2, Belisle 1b 4-0-2, Martin 3b 4-1-2, Potting ss 3-2-2, Hatch 2b 2-1-1, Peterson dp 2-2-0, Blue rf 2-2-1. Totals 25-14-12.
3B-Dodor. HR-Dodor. RBI-Dodor 7, Martin, Hatch, Blue.
Osceola 002 02=4
Somerset 020 (12)x=14
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
Johnson (W) 5 6 4 4 2 4
Somerset 5, Ellsworth 1
Lindner lf 3-1-1, Steinlicht cf 4-0-0, Dodor c 4-0-1, Belisle 1b 2-2-1, Martin 3b 2-1-0, Potting ss 2-1-1, Hatch 2b 1-0-0, Larson cf 0-0-0, Blue rf 2-0-0. Totals 20-5-4.
Eggenberger 3b 3-0-0, Hughes dp 3-0-0, Constant fl 3-0-0, Thoner ss 3-1-1, Halls rf 3-0-0, Baggenstass p 3-0-0, Biel 2b 1-0-0, Langer cf 2-0-0, Knutson 1b 2-0-0. Totals 23-1-1.
RBI-Hatch, Larson 2, Blue, Belisle.
Somerset 000 311 0=5
Ellsworth 010 000 0=1
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
Johnson (W) 7 1 1 1 3 7