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Ellsworth ends Somerset's softball season

Maddie Berends delivers a pitch for the Spartans during last Tuesday's double-header against New Richmond.

The blur that was the Somerset softball season came to an end last Thursday in the opening round of WIAA Division 2 regional tournament action.

The Spartans put up a good fight before falling to Ellsworth 7-2 in their tournament game. The Spartans finish the season with a 2-13 record.

The horrific spring weather threw a wrench into the Spartans' schedule. They didn't play their first outdoor game until April 29. In the next 18 days, the Spartans squeezed in 14 games. Spartan coach Cory Lindenberg said the team was only able to conduct two outdoor practices during the entire season.

"I've never seen anything like it," Lindenberg said. "We never had an opportunity to workshop things."

Lindenberg said practice time was especially valuable this season because the Spartans were so young. He said the lack of practices put more pressure on the team's seniors to be on-field leaders. He said Anna Siggens, Sami Martell, Justice Harvieux and Sadie Gilbertson took on the role and made the best of the situation.

"They were a tremendous asset in helping guide the young team through the trials and tribulations of a condensed season," Lindenberg said.

The Spartans and Ellsworth were even after the opening two innings of the game, tied 2-2. Somerset's Megan Starry led off the game with a walk. She advanced on Martell's single and scored on Gilbertson's groundout. The Spartans scored in the second inning after a Jocelyn Rivard single. Ellsworth throwing errors led to that run.

Ellsworth got its runs in the opening innings off Spartan errors and that theme would continue as the Panthers gradually pulled ahead.

"We were done in by the same things that have done us in all year: errors," Lindenberg said.

The Spartans finished their Middle Border Conference schedule last Tuesday. The Spartans hosted New Richmond in a double-header. Both games had some thrills and spills, but the Tigers came out ahead both times, 13-7 and 11-4.

Somerset gave up eight runs in the opening inning of the first game. The Spartans passionately fought back, scoring one run in the first inning and six more in the second inning. New Richmond got some separation by scoring three times in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

Five Spartans produced two hits in that game, including Sydney Branom, Maddie Berends, Rondeau, Gilbertson and Starry.

The Spartans were the victims of a big inning again in the second game, but this time they couldn't fight their way back. New Richmond scored eight times in the third inning to build up an 11-1 lead.

Berends and Branom each had two hits to lead the Spartans in the second game.