New Richmond softball team edged out of WIAA playoffs by OsceolaThe softball teams from New Richmond and Osceola have been on parallel paths all season.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The softball teams from New Richmond and Osceola have been on parallel paths all season. So it wasn’t surprising when they drew the fourth and fifth seeds in the regional playoffs and ended up facing each other in the opening round of Division 2 action last Friday.
And just like when the two teams met in Middle Border Conference action, this game was close right to the end. It was Osceola that prevailed, winning by a 3-2 score.
The win put Osceola into the second round of the playoffs on Tuesday against MBC champion Baldwin-Woodville.
The Tigers finish the season with a 10-11 record. They had a 9-5 MBC record, tying with Osceola for third place in the final standings.
Osceola showed some nerves in the first inning, committing three errors. The Tigers were able to get one run home, on a single by Paige Charland. This was one of several chances they failed to capitalize on. They left the bases loaded and that happened again in the third inning.
Osceola tied the game in the bottom of the first inning on a double by Carli Wagner and a Tiger throwing error. The Chieftains moved ahead 3-1 on a two-run double by Cami Thorsland in the third inning.
New Richmond got one run back in the fourth inning. Ashley Langer walked, with Ari Ziemer as her courtesy runner. Calli Jirik put down a sacrifice bunt and Ziemer moved to third on a passed ball. She scored on Ellie Emerson’s groundout.
The Tigers missed another golden chance in the fifth inning when Kelsey Gilkison tripled with one out. An infield fly and a strikeout stranded Gilkison at third base.
Langer pitched another strong game for the Tigers. She did give up six walks. Two of them were to Wagner, whom the Tigers were content to pitch around.
The Tigers totaled five hits in the game. Gilkison led the team with two hits and Charland, Sydney Kannel and Jordan Pastorius each singled once.
Tiger coach Becky Ahlbrecht said the team’s inexperience showed in their overanxious swings at the plate. The game was over in 70 minutes because there were so many quick innings.
“We were just so excited to play, they wanted to hit the ball right away,” Ahlbrecht said. “They got caught up in the tempo of the game. Hopefully it’s something we can learn from for next year.”